George Soros hasn’t yet endorsed a candidate to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020, but there is one Democratic hopeful who definitely won’t be getting the progressive billionaire’s support: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
Soros, a heavyweight donor to liberal causes around the world, blames Gillibrand for spearheading the campaign to push former Sen. Al Franken from the Senate.
Gillibrand called for Franken’s resignation “in order to improve her chances,” Soros told the Washington Post in an interview published Saturday morning. (RELATED: George Soros-Linked Think Tank Partnering With Facebook)
Franken officially resigned from his seat on Jan. 2, following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, including forcibly groping and kissing women. The former Minnesota senator was one of several powerful political figures whose alleged sexual misdeeds were exposed amid the nationwide #MeToo movement — a backlash against sexual harassment of women in the workplace.
Gillibrand, who has emerged as one of Washington’s most ardent #MeToo supporters, led a group of female senators who pressured Franken to resign in the wake of the allegations against him. Despite concerns from some Democratic leaders that Franken’s actions didn’t warrant his resignation, Gillibrand denounced her colleague, saying he “wasn’t entitled to my silence any longer.”
Soros has been a strong supporter of Franken — “a man whom I admire,” he told WaPo — and was a key fundraiser for the senator’s recount election in 2008. In Soros’ view, Gillibrand went too far by calling for Franken to step down before an ethics investigation was complete.
“So she is campaigning, and I hope she doesn’t — there is one less candidate,” the Hungarian-born billionaire said.
For her part, Gillibrand has not shied away from criticizing powerful figures in the Democratic party with problematic sexual histories. She created an intra-party row in November, when she said former President Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
The comment sparked outrage among Clinton loyalists, who accused Gillibrand going after Clinton to advance her standing in the Democratic party. Gillibrand was formerly a close ally of the Clinton family and took over Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat when she became secretary of state in 2009
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