Politics

Former Hillary Clinton Aide Blasts Gillibrand Over Bill Clinton Comments

Former president should have resigned over Lewinsky episode, NY senator said

New York Sen. Kristin Gillibrand said Thursday she thought it would have been "appropriate" for President Bill Clinton to step down after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former Hillary Clinton State Department aide had harsh words for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who said Thursday that President Bill Clinton should have resigned after an inappropriate sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s deputy assistant secretary of state for strategic communications, called Gillibrand a “hypocrite” for the comments.

“Ken Starr spent $70 million on a consensual blowjob. Senate voted to keep POTUS WJC. But not enough for you @SenGillibrand?” Reines tweeted hours after the New York Times broke news of Gillibrand’s comments.

Starr was the independent counsel who revealed Bill Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky in a 1998 report.

“Over 20 [years] you took the Clintons’ endorsements, money, and seat,” Reines continued, referring to Gillibrand’s appointment to Hillary Clinton’s vacated Senate seat from New York in 2009 when Clinton left to head the State Department.

Gillibrand’s name has been floated in political circles as a potential candidate to unseat President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential elections.

A New York Times podcast host asked her if she believed the former president should have stepped down after the Lewinsky affair was outed.

“Yes, I think that is the appropriate response,” she said, after a long pause.

Reines has been a staple of New York and Democratic political consulting for nearly two decades. He signaled Thursday he would not support Gillibrand over other Democrats in future presidential primaries after her comments Thursday.

“Interesting strategy for 2020 primaries,” his tweet continued. “Best of luck.”

Gillibrand’s office could not be reached for comment Friday.

The New York senator made her comments the same day Democratic Senate colleague Al Franken of Minnesota was accused of forcibly kissing and groping a woman traveling with him to perform for troops in Afghanistan in 2006.

The day before, she joined Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier of California to introduce the ME TOO Congress Act that includes a number of provisions aimed at stemming sexual harassment in the Capitol.

Watch: Congresswoman Who Survived Jonestown Attack Now Staring Down Sexual Harassment

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