On Monday, Democratic New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand confidently proclaimed on The View that a zero tolerance policy must be adopted for all elected leaders when it comes to sexual improprieties. That is, of course, unless your last name is Clinton.
The senator turned pastoral in her demands and stated that anyone accused of sexual misconduct should be held accountable and made an example of no matter if it’s a minor offense or major. As a mother of four boys, Gillibrand says she doesn’t want them to think there is any gray area when it comes to touching a woman without her permission.
Co-host Joy Behar brought up former Sen. Al Franken, who stepped down after facing eight allegations of sexual harassment. Behar argued that what he did wasn't that bad and that he didn’t get a fair hearing. Gillibrand considered Franken a friend, but said she couldn’t remain silent and was fine calling for his resignation. However, she did say the allegations against Franken were “very different” from what was brought against Roy Moore, Steve Wynn, and President Trump. But, she added, that doesn’t mean any of it should be tolerated.
“We should be holding all of our elected leaders to the higher standard,” she said. “And I can’t be a good mother, and I can’t be a good senator, if I am silent just because it’s my friend.”
The audience ate this up with applause.
But then came Meghan McCain’s questioning which flipped Gillibrand’s pious moment on its head:
“There’s some inconvenient truths on both sides. Reportedly, Hillary Clinton is under fire for covering up for a top advisor who was accused of sexual harassment back in 2007. She docked his pay and made him seek counseling but allowed him to stay on. And women claim his harassment continued. You are a longtime supporter of the Clintons and consider her a mentor. Do you think her response this weekend was appropriate?”
Gillibrand stumbled through a choppy answer as if she wasn’t prepared to face her own hypocrisy. She continued saying she isn’t sure if Clinton made a bad decision or not. But instead of criticizing her friend Hillary, Gillibrand said we should be talking about stopping work place harassment and supporting the #MeToo movement.
McCain punched back:
“Senator, you have dedicated your political career to this fight, obviously, and that’s why a lot of people are surprised that it took you 20 years to say that Bill Clinton should’ve resigned over the Lewinsky scandal. So, what do you say to that?”
Again, Gillibrand looked for the right words but only managed to stutter through a lame excuse:
“I, I, I think this moment of time we’re in is very different. I don’t think we had the same conversation back then, the same lens. We didn’t hold people accountable in the same way that this moment is demanding today. I think all of us, or many of us, did not have that same lens, myself included. But today, we are having a very different conversation.”
McCain was relentless: “Can I ask, do you regret campaigning with him, though?”
“It’s not about any one president and it’s not about any one industry,” said Gillibrand. “If we reduce it to that, we are missing the opportunity to allow women to be heard.”
The Clintons get yet another pass. So much for zero tolerance!
The relevant section starts in the above video at around the 3-minute mark. Stick around for Ana Navaro throwing the senator a “bash Trump” life raft to save her from a fiery McCain.