As more and more high-profile men are accused of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment, some are bringing attention to older cases as well.
Such is the case with former president Bill Clinton, who was famously impeached for having a relationship with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
On Thursday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) became one of the most prominent liberals to assert that Clinton should have resigned following his relationship.
When asked by The New York Times whether he should have stepped down, Gillibrand reportedly “took a long pause” and then said, “Yes, I think that is the appropriate response.”
Nevertheless, Gillibrand also seemed to suggest that public opinion about such behavior has shifted, saying, “Things have changed today, and I think under those circumstances there should be a very different reaction.” Yet she also pointed to a need to treat the behavior of our current president differently, saying, “I think in light of this conversation, we should have a very different conversation about President Trump, and a very different conversation about allegations against him.”
Her spokesperson later clarified to the Times that had the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal happened today, the former president would have faced more pressure to resign. Gillibrand has strong ties with the Clintons and was a strong supporter of Hillary’s presidential campaign last year.
The Senator has actively sought to address issues of sexual harassment and reporting of its occurrence. This week, she began a new push for legislation to combat sexual assault in the military. She also co-sponsored a bill with Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called the “Me Too” Act, which seeks to make it easier to report sexual harassment by lawmakers and staffers. She explained that the ‘Me Too’ movement has transformed the debate, arguing that, “We never had a conversation this important. It couldn’t come too soon.”