Biden inner circle rallies to defense of senior aide accused of sexual harassment

Biden’s Inner Circle Unites in Support of Senior Aide Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

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President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden’s close associates and former colleagues have come forward to defend a top aide, Anthony Bernal, against accusations of sexual harassment. Fox News Digital received statements from nearly a dozen people, both current and former colleagues of Bernal, who is an assistant to the president and a senior advisor to the first lady. They are responding to claims that Bernal engaged in bullying and verbal sexual harassment, including inappropriate comments about staffers’ appearances.

Some individuals who spoke to the New York Post, which initially reported the allegations, expressed their hope for accountability for Bernal’s actions. Despite their concerns, they described him as “untouchable” due to his close relationship with the first lady. The White House and the first lady’s office have not directly responded to inquiries about whether there will be an internal investigation into these claims. Instead, statements from Biden’s inner circle and Bernal’s former coworkers have been provided in his defense, aiming to counter the accusations.

A White House official praised Bernal as one of the most generous and brilliant people in the administration, noting his intentional efforts to make colleagues feel valued. Ron Klain, Biden’s former chief of staff, echoed this sentiment, highlighting Bernal’s professionalism and compassion over nearly three decades of working together. Other former colleagues shared their respect for Bernal’s leadership and his focus on serving others, emphasizing his encouragement and support for their professional growth.

Despite these defenses, the New York Post’s report detailed allegations against Bernal, including inappropriate remarks and questions about personal lives, which some have labeled as sexual harassment. Following the report, a former top Biden aide confirmed the allegations’ alignment with their own experiences, expressing surprise that it took so long for the issue to be raised publicly.

President Biden has previously stated his zero-tolerance policy for disrespect among his staff, promising immediate termination for anyone found treating colleagues poorly. The White House and the first lady’s office have yet to comment on whether Bernal’s alleged actions contradict this pledge. Meanwhile, the president’s chief of staff, Jeff Zeints, has expressed full confidence in Bernal’s character, describing him as gracious, tough, and dedicated to public service, despite the accusations from unnamed sources.