Senator Bernie Sanders plans to meet with former staff members from his 2016 presidential campaign on Wednesday, intending to quell worries that an apparent culture of sexism will continue into Sanders’ potential 2020 run.
Staff members will convene with Sanders and members of his campaign arm in Washington, with all airfare and hotel costs covered, the New York Times reports.
The meeting is in response to a letter from more than two dozen women and men who claim to have experienced “sexual violence and harassment” during the 2016 presidential campaign. The letter, sent two weeks ago, requested a meeting with Sanders and campaign leadership “for the purpose of planning to mitigate the issue in the upcoming presidential cycle.”
An ensuing Times report described “episodes of sexual harassment and demeaning treatment as well as pay disparity” in Sanders’ campaign.
Sanders has publicly apologized twice for the alleged mistreatment, the second apology coming after Sanders told CNN he was “a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case” and so wasn’t aware of the complaints of sexism. The comment was criticized as overly harsh.
Sanders’ meeting this week will likely save face as the Vermont Independent gears up for a potential 2020 presidential run. While Sanders has not explicitly said he will be running, a decision is reportedly coming soon.
His 2016 presidential campaign raised more than $228 million, primarily from small donations.