Failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released a statement Tuesday distancing herself from top Democratic fundraiser and disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein — five days after the New York Times first published explosive allegations of sexual harassment against him.
“I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein,” Clinton said in a statement, tweeted out by former campaign communications director Nick Merrill. “The behavior described by the women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.”
Statement from Secretary Clinton on Harvey Weinstein: pic.twitter.com/L1l2wl9l0I
— Nick Merrill (@NickMerrill) October 10, 2017
The statement comes after growing pressure on the former secretary of state from both left and right-wing figures and media outlets over her silence about the allegations. Weinstein was fired from his company Sunday, days after the Times published a report alleging sexual harassment spanning over decades resulting in at least eight settlements with young women.
CNN reported Tuesday that Clinton aides were “confused” by her silence and asking why she has not said anything about the allegations.
The outlet noted Weinstein’s long-standing connections with Clinton since he donated to Bill Clinton’s legal defense fund in the 1990s. It also points out that Clinton rented a home next to Weinstein in the Hamptons in 2015, while Weinstein acted as a big-money bundler for Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Clinton also headlined a number of big-dollar fundraisers at Weinstein’s home in New York City.
The broadly pro-Clinton New York Times had added to the pressure on Clinton last week with an editorial board op-ed, saying: “Harvey Weinstein’s Money Shouldn’t Buy Democrats’ Silence.” It argued:
There has been no comment from Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton, who condemned Donald Trump for boasting of sexual assault on the “Access Hollywood” tape. These Democratic leaders, admired by many young women and men, should make clear that Mr. Weinstein also deserves condemnation. If such powerful leaders take the money and stay mum, who will speak for women like Mr. Weinstein’s accusers?
CNN had also ramped up the pressure, with editor-at-large Chris Cillizza asking Tuesday of Obama and Clinton: “What the heck is taking them so long?”
Shortly after the statement by Clinton was published, Cillizza’s article was with an apparently unimpressed headline, referencing the blandness of Clinton’s statement: “It took Hillary Clinton five days to issue this statement about Harvey Weinstein.”