Gillibrand stands by handling of aide's sex misconduct claim

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential contender Kirsten Gillibrand is standing by her Senate office's response to a former staffer who resigned over the handling of her sexual harassment claims.

Politico reported Sunday that the female staffer alleged that one of Gillibrand's closest aides made repeated unwelcome advances toward her and then retaliated after she reported him. The aide lost his expected promotion but not his job. Gillibrand's office concluded the woman's allegations "did not meet the standard of sexual harassment."

The New York senator, who has been a forceful public advocate for victims of sexual misconduct, said Monday that it's important to believe women who make allegations so that "serious investigations can actually take place, we can learn the facts, and there can be appropriate accountability."

Gillibrand says, "That's exactly what happened at every step of this case last year."

The aide was fired after Politico presented the office with additional allegations.

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