Huma Abedin does not give clues as to the senator’s party, state or other identifying factors. She does write that she stayed friendly with him and “buried the incident”, erasing it from her mind “entirely”.
However, she also writes that her memory of her experience on the unnamed senator’s couch was triggered in late 2018, when she read about Christine Blasey Ford “being accused of ‘conveniently’ remembering” her alleged sexual assault by the supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, an allegation Kavanaugh denied.
Though Kavanaugh became a leading symbol of the #MeToo era, in which allegations of sexual misconduct and assault have brought down prominent men, he was confirmed to the court.
In her interview with CBS, Abedin says: “I did go back to a senator’s apartment, a senator who I knew and I was very comfortable with, and he kissed me in a very shocking way because it was somebody who I’d known and frankly trusted.”
The interviewer, Norah O’Donnell, asks: “Are you suggesting that senator assaulted you?”
Abedin pauses, and says: “I’m suggesting that I was in an uncomfortable situation with … I was in an uncomfortable situation with a senator and I didn’t know how to deal with it and I buried the whole experience.
“But in my my own personal opinion, no, did I feel like he was assaulting me in that moment? I didn’t, it didn’t feel that way. It felt like I needed to extricate myself from the situation. And he also spent a lot of time apologising and making sure I was OK and we were actually able to rebalance our relationship.”
Huma Abedin: kiss from unnamed senator wasn’t sexual assault
In an interview with CBS, Huma Abedin has discussed the incident in which she says she was kissed, against her will, by an unnamed senator.
The longtime Hillary Clinton aide says she does not think it was a sexual assault.
The Guardian broke news of Abedin’s claim on Tuesday, when it obtained a copy of her new memoir, Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds, which will be published next week. The CBS interview is due to be broadcast on Sunday.
Clinton was a senator from New York from 2001 to 2009. In her book, Abedin describes a Washington dinner attended by “a few senators and their aides” but not Clinton, and writes: “I ended up walking out with one of the senators, and soon we stopped in front of his building and he invited me in for coffee. Once inside, he told me to make myself comfortable on the couch.”
She says the senator made coffee, “then, in an instant, it all changed. He plopped down to my right, put his left arm around my shoulder, and kissed me, pushing his tongue into my mouth, pressing me back on the sofa.
“I was so utterly shocked, I pushed him away. All I wanted was for the last 10 seconds to be erased.”
She writes that the senator apologised and said he had “misread” her “all this time”.
Biden ‘remains open to going up to the Hill’ for reconciliation talks, Psaki says
at 1.41pm EDT
Conservative pundit Meghan McCain is taking hits at Republican senator Lindsey Graham on Twitter after the senator denied her claims that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were “funeral crashers” at the service of her father, the late John McCain.
“Lindsey Graham may consider himself a member of my family, but he is not and hasn’t been for a very long time. He certainly doesn’t speak for me or my life experiences. Full stop,” McCain wrote on Twitter. “The media should stop treating him like he is an expert on anything McCain related.”
Graham was once a close friend with the late senator but turned into a loyal defender of Donald Trump who for years attacked the late Senator, even after his death.
In previous statements, Graham refuted her claim saying “their presence was approved.”
“She was upset they were there – I understand that, and she has hard feelings but I know what happened and nobody showed up uninvited,” Graham told the Washington Post. According to emails reviewed by the Post, funeral organizers were aware that senior White House aides would be attending the service and were coordinating with Secret Service on security logistics.
The gap in popularity between the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey has narrowed, according to a new Monmouth University poll, though current governor Phil Murphy still maintains a sizable lead over his Republican opponent, Jack Ciattarelli.
Half of registered voters in the poll support Murphy while 39% support Ciattarelli. The gap in popularity has shrunk 3% since August, though Murphy as incumbent still maintains a strong lead, particularly among non-White voters.
If Murphy is reelected next week, he will be the first Democrat re-elected to the governor’s office in five decades.
A 33-year-old single mom from West Virginia. A home healthcare worker from Arizona. Climate activists on hunger strike. An Afghanistan veteran. Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders as well as progressive members of Congress. All gathered at the US Capitol in Washington on Wednesday morning to demand Democrats in Congress fulfill their promises to voters on poverty, health care, immigration, minimum wage, climate action and voting rights.
Led by Rev William Barber, the activists implored Democrats to take a bolder stance against senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, two holdouts without whom the Democrats’ social policy and climate change bill will not pass.
“We say that this stuff is absolutely critical,” Barber said. “We say it’s urgent but then we treat it as though we’ve got options and more time but we do not.”
“People die from poverty and low-wages. People die from the lack of housing. People die from the lack of healthcare. People die from the lack of living wages. People die from the climate heating up and us not doing what we ought to do to change it,” the reverend continued. “All of this stuff is man-created, it is not God-ordained. And if we made it like this, we can change it.”
He said members of Congress were being “too cordial” with Manchin and Sinema by rushing to accommodate their every demand instead of pushing them to accept a bigger bill as supported by nearly every other member of the caucus.
“What if some of the Congresspeople went on a hunger strike?” he asked.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California said legislation reflects “our priorities as a country” and that much more had to be done to lift Americans from poverty and prevent catastrophic climate disaster. Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland warned about the threat to American democracy posed by the sweep of voting restrictions in Republican-led states across the country.
“There is an effort to disable the government as a tool of the common good,” he said, urging Congress to prioritize democratic reforms like the filibuster, and protecting voting rights.
So weak from their hunger strike, the climate activists could not stand to speak at the press conference.
Abby, a 20-year-old climate activist, said she dreams of a future where she can live free from fear of flooding and heat waves, where she can build a family with a sense of optimism about the future.
“I am here doing this hunger strike because I would do anything for that future to be real,” she said. Directing her comments to Joe Biden, she implored him to do everything in his power to cut carbon emissions. “My generation deserves to live,” she said.
Barber said he was frustrated that the president and the media were so focused on hearing from Manchin and Sinema, rather than listening to people like Abby. The result, he said, was a debate over a topline figure rather than the poverty-reducing, climate-saving programs that are now at risk of being cut from the legislation.
“This is not about scarcity. This is not about ‘we don’t have enough. I’m so sick of that damn line I don’t know what to do,” Barber said. “The wealthiest nation in the history of the world cannot claim we don’t have enough. What we don’t have enough of is conscience and moral fiber.”