Allegations of sexual harassment against Hillary Clinton’s spiritual advisor were roundly ignored by her 2008 presidential campaign. A bombshell New York Times report dropped on January 26 alleging inappropriate behavior by Burns Strider, 52, who had worked with Clinton since January 2007. In 2008, Strider was accused by a 30-year-old female staffer of rubbing “her shoulders inappropriately” and kissing “her on the forehead,” in addition to sending “a string of suggestive emails” with at least one of those coming late at night.
The staffer brought her complaints to campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle. The Times says Strider was kept on at Clinton’s request with Doyle advocating that he be fired. His punishment was to undergo counseling and to have his pay docked. The staffer was moved on to another position within the campaign.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Burns Strider’s father as Sheriff Clarence Strider. We apologize and regret this error.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Strider Was Rehired for Clinton’s 2016 Campaign
The New York Times report goes on to say that Strider was re-recruited by the Clinton campaign in preparation for the 2016 election. At that time, Strider was working with a group named Correct the Record. The Times says Strider was fired “after several months” when he was accused of harassing a “young female aide.” The Washington Post reported in November 2013 that Strider was joining Correct the Record along with long-time Clinton ally David Brock. The Post said that among the group’s main priorities was to correct the narratives about Benghazi being put out by Republican candidates and media outlets.
A 2008 New York Times feature on Strider said that his role was to connect southern people, evangelicals and Nascar fans to the Clinton campaign.
2. Strider Was Once a ‘Senior Adviser’ to Nancy Pelosi
Prior to working for the Clinton campaign, Strider says that he was a “Senior Adviser” to then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi from February 2003 until December 2006. Before that, Strider was the southern regional communications director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Strider graduated from Delta State University with a degree in history in 1990. Strider wrote in the blog about his father that he spent time in the 90’s working as a Southern Baptist missionary in Hong Kong.
3. Strider Heads a Group that Tackles ‘the Most Pressing Moral Issues of Our Time’
According to his LinkedIn page, Strider was a “Senior Adviser” and “Director of Faith Outreach” on Clinton’s 2008 failed Democratic primary campaign. Since 2009, Strider has been the president of the American Values Network. He writes that the organization, “seeks to be the salt of public and political discourse in America, preserving our values and heightening awareness of the key ingredients required for a prosperous society.” One of the organizations stated goals is “Tackling the most pressing moral issues of our time.”
An online bio for Strider says that one of his earliest political jobs was interning for then-Senator Al Gore in the early 90’s. Strider was a Democratic delegate at the 1992 Democratic Convention. In his Medium blog about his father, Strider wrote that he saw parts of his father’s politics in Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton.
4. Strider Was Married at the Time of His Alleged Offenses
The Times report into Strider’s alleged harassment notes that he was married at the time of the initial allegations. On his Facebook page, Strider says that he got engaged to Karen Hahn in 1995. Hahn is, according to her LinkedIn page, a family and child therapist in the D.C. area. Hahn is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the Catholic University of Kentucky. The couple has two teenage sons, Will and Pete.
5. The Times Wrote Earlier in January 2018 that Hillary Clinton’s Failed Presidential Campaign ‘Ignited a Feminist Movement’
On January 13, the New York Times published a piece titled, “Hillary Clinton Ignited a Feminist Movement. By Losing.” The article cites the “indignities and cynicism” that Clinton faced as being inspirational to movements such as MeToo. Although Clinton’s relationship with shamed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been severely criticized. Actress Lena Dunham, an open supporter of Clinton, says she told someone one the Democrat’s campaign, “I just want you to know that Harvey’s a rapist and this is going to come out at some point.”