- Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen of Nevada responded to calls for him to step down amid sexual misconduct allegations by alleging that Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders knew of the allegations and still backed him as a candidate.
- Democrat lawmakers denied knowing the allegations prior to the initial reports.
Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen of Nevada responded to calls for him to step down amid sexual misconduct allegations by vowing not to resign. He admonished House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other top party brass for allegedly continuing to back his campaign after learning about the allegations made against him last year.
“I do find it interesting that the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee], Leader [Nancy] Pelosi and Chairman Ben Ray Lujan – they knew about these allegations last year,” Kihuen said, according to ABC News on Tuesday. “They looked into them. They didn’t find anything, and they continued investing millions of dollars in my campaign. They went out there and campaigned for me,” he said.
According to campaign records, the DCCC reportedly spent at least $3.15 million on Kihuen’s campaign in 2016.
Kihuen allegedly made sexual advances toward a former finance director during his congressional campaign, touching her thighs without consent and propositioning her for dates and sex, BuzzFeed reported last week.
“I sincerely apologize for anything that I may have said or done that made her feel uncomfortable,” Kihuen said in a statement Friday. “I take this matter seriously as it is not indicative of who I am.”
Kihuen noted that he was not resigning and planned on “continuing the job that I was elected to do,” ABC News reported.
Both Pelosi and Democratic Rep. Lujan of New Mexico have called for Kihuen’s resignation following the allegation and denied having prior knowledge of the allegations from BuzzFeed News’ report, ABC News said.
“Congressman Kihuen’s statement is not true,” Meredith Kelly, communications director for the DCCC, said to ABC News. “We were presented with these disturbing facts for the first time last week, and the chair immediately called for his resignation.”