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Tuesday
Oct102017

Hillary Clinton says she was 'shocked and appalled' by allegations against Harvey Weinstein

Evan Agostini/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Hillary Clinton spoke out Tuesday about the allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, saying she was "shocked and appalled" to learn of the revelations and that such behavior "cannot be tolerated."

Clinton's comments came in a statement tweeted by her communications director Nick Merrill and in the aftermath of criticism lodged by the likes of Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, and President Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr, who each noted that Clinton's presidential campaign received donations from Weinstein.

"I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein," read the statement from Clinton, which was later retweeted by her personal account. "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."

The former Democratic presidential candidate's condemnation comes on a day in which The New Yorker ran an extensive exposé on Weinstein's alleged actions, including multiple accusations of sexual assault. The New Yorker's story followed a New York Times investigation less than a week ago in which the film producer's behavior, and settlements reached over the accusations, were first publicized. The newspaper followed with an additional story Tuesday in which actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie shared their personal stories of alleged harassment at the hands of Weinstein.

Weinstein, who acknowledged he "needed to be a better person" in a statement last week, was fired from his position with his production company Sunday. His lawyer Charles Harder claimed the Times report "relies on mostly hearsay accounts" and was "saturated with false and defamatory statements." Harder has said that he is preparing a lawsuit against the newspaper. Today, Harder referred all questions to Weinstein's publicist, who did not respond to ABC News' request for comment. A spokesperson for The Weinstein Company did not respond to request for comment either.

After the revelations first emerged last week, a number of Democratic politicians pledged to donate to charity contributions previously received from Weinstein. At least eight Democratic senators, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sens. Cory Booker, D- N.J., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said they would give away thousands of dollars in campaign donations.

Weinstein personally gave $2,700 to Clinton's presidential campaign in both 2015 and 2016, according to campaign finance transparency site OpenSecrets. He also hosted a fundraiser for the Democratic nominee in June 2016 for which tickets cost more than $33,400. The history of patronage led to questions from McDaniel and Trump Jr. about when Clinton would speak out.

"Whose side is Hillary Clinton on: Harvey Weinstein's or his victims?" tweeted McDaniel, from her @GOPChairwoman account on Saturday.

"Weird, Hillary has been really quiet about Harvey Weinstein. You would think she would be all Over this. #WhatHappened?" wrote Trump Jr. on Saturday.

Supporters of Clinton were quick to note that President Trump himself has faced accusations of sexual harassment. Last year, two women told the New York Times that Trump touched them in a sexual nature without their permission. Separately, in an audio recording captured by an "Access Hollywood" crew in 2005 and published by the Washington Post last year, Trump was heard appearing to boast about groping women.

"I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait," said Trump of women in the recording. "And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

"Grab them by the p----,” he continued. “You can do anything.”

Trump has downplayed his comments, calling them "locker room talk."

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