Democrats condemn Weinstein, breaking silence

Article credits to Politico:
Harvey Weinstein is pictured. | AP Photo
Pressure has been growing with numerous revelations about Harvey Weinstein, including accusations of multiple sexual assaults, hush money and other untoward and demeaning behavior toward women. | Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Democrats condemn Weinstein, breaking silence

Obama, Clinton and Pelosi disavow the producer, a major donor, after Republican criticism.

After days of muted response, top Democrats on Tuesday condemned Harvey Weinstein, the former studio executive and a top donor to their party.

The censures and denunciations from the Obama family, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others came after the White House and the Republican National Committee criticized Democrats for a slow response.

“Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports of Harvey Weinstein,” former President Barack Obama said in a joint statement with his wife on Tuesday evening. “Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status.”

Earlier in the day, Clinton issued a statement: “I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.”

Other Democrats have sounded similar notes, with Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader, saying Tuesday that Weinstein’s “despicable actions violate every standard of acceptable behavior.” Her Senate counterpart, Chuck Schumer of New York, earlier donated Weinstein’s campaign donations to women’s charities.


He donated heavily to Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, Obama’s campaign and to numerous others in the party. Weinstein’s ties were more than financial, though: As a high-profile movie producer and bundler, he often portrayed himself as having the ear of top Democrats and Clinton in particular. In addition, the Obamas’ elder daughter, Malia, interned at The Weinstein Company last year.

On Sunday, the company announced that it had fired Weinstein, who was a co-founder with his brother, Bob.

Republicans have noted the relative slowness of Democrats’ response and made calls for them to return donations tied to Weinstein.

“During three decades’ worth of sexual harassment allegations, Harvey Weinstein lined the pockets of Democrats to the tune of three-quarters of a million dollars,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said last week. “If Democrats and the DNC truly stand up for women like they say they do, then returning this dirty money should be a no brainer.”

Among those who criticized Clinton was Donald Trump Jr., who mocked her and made reference to her new book about the 2016 campaign.

“Weird, Hillary has been really quiet about Harvey Weinstein,” he tweeted. “You would think she would be all Over this. #WhatHappened?”

President Donald Trump told reporters on Saturday that the allegations were no surprise to him.

“I’ve known Harvey Weinstein for a long time. I’m not at all surprised to see it,” Trump said outside the White House.

Weinstein told The Times last week: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”