Gillibrand: Respecting Abedin’s ‘Privacy’
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is steering clear of the race for New York City mayor in part because many of those running this year are “close friends” she told reporters this afternoon in the Syracuse area.
Gillibrand, however, called the latest revelations that former Rep. Anthony Weiner was still conducting sexually explicity chats with women online after he resigned from office last year “wrong” and “disappointing.”
Citing her friendship with former Clinton aide and Weiner’s spouse Huma Abedin, Gillibrand limited her comments on the situation, however.
“I think it’s wrong. I think it’s wrong,” Gillibrand said. ”I think it’s something that’s extremely disappointing. I’m a really good friend of Huma’s so I’m respecting their privacy.”
Gillibrand has endorsed Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer over ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer after initially declaring she would stay out of the city comptroller’s race. Gillibrand and Spitzer have had a rocky relationship, even before her appointment to the Senate by then-Gov. David Paterson, Spitzer’s successor.
“I’ve stayed out of the mayor’s race there are so many candidates that I’m actually close friends with. So I’ve allowed the New York City voters to make their judgment on that,” she said today.
Gillibrand has come under criticism from Republicans for not calling on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to step down in the wake of the Vtio Lopez sexual harassment scandal.
Gillibrand has been one of the main proponents of overhauling how sexual assault is handled in the military through a process that would remove reporting of assaults from the chain of command. The proposal has drawn support from surprising quarters like Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz (two Republicans considered possible presidential contenders in 2016), but opposition from fellow Democrats in the Senate.
Still, Republicans back here in New York point to the Lopez case and Gillibrand declining to call on Silver to resign as an example of hypocrisy on her part.
Silver has apologized for concealing more than $100,000 in settlement money for Lopez’s former aides who accused him of harassment, but contends his office didn’t break any laws.
Even more criticism was heaped on the speaker after it was revealed last week counsel Bill Collins did not forward complaints of harassment made against Assemblyman Micah Kellner, now a city council candidate.
Gillibrand noted today she called on Lopez to resign from the chamber immediately. She added the Legislature handled the issue poorly.
“I think the way he treated his staff is not only disgraceful, but illegal and he has no place in government,” she said of Lopez. ”That’s why I was so angry about how the Legislature handled that issue. I think we need far more transparency and accountability when you’re talking about breaking laws, exploitation of women and sexual harassment of women.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on July 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm, and is filed under Kirsten Gillibrand. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|