In aninterview with The New York Times, Gillibrand said that Clinton stepping down after the scandal was made public would have been “the appropriate response.”
Gillibrand, who ferventlysupported Hillary Clintonduring her 2016 campaign for the presidency, added that the standard for behavior has changed since her husband’s presidential term ended in 2001.
“Things have changed today, and I think under those circumstances there should be a very different reaction,” she said, apparently nodding to the watershed conversation happening nationally in the U.S. on powerful men and sexual abuse.
“And I think in light of this conversation, we should have a very different conversation aboutPresident Trump, and a very different conversation about allegations against him.”
Gillibrand’s spokesman later clarified to the Times that the senator was trying to express that if the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal had happened now, Bill Clinton would’ve felt more pressure to resign.
Gillibrand has publicly expressed her admiration of the Clintons in the past.
In anessay published on Mediumin 2016, she endorsed Hillary Clinton’s Democratic presidential bid. In the essay, she wrote adoringly of Hillary Clinton, who mentored Gillibrand during her own run for office and said she was “truly honored” that Bill Clinton had campaigned for her congressional run in 2006.
As senator, her government website reads, Gillibrand is “leading the fight toreform the justice system for sexual assault survivorsin the military and on college campuses.”
On Wednesday, Gillibrand co-sponsored a bill,known as the “Me Too” Act, with Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) to make the process of reporting sexual harassment by lawmakers and staffers easier. The bill, which gained bipartisan support, is a part of Speier’s efforts toaddress the issue of sexual harassment and abusewithin Congress.
Gillibrand has also publicly denounced Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who was recentlyaccused of groping and kissing broadcaster Leeann Tweedenwithout consent during a USO tour in 2006.
The allegations against Sen. Franken are deeply concerning. This kind of behavior is unacceptable and should not be tolerated anywhere in our society. There is nothing funny about it and there is no excuse for it. The Ethics Committee deserves answers from him.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) November 16, 2017
There has been an outpouring of sexual abuse or harassment accusations against men in powerful positions since The New York Times and The New Yorker published explosive reports last month on film mogul Harvey Weinstein’s alleged history of sexual abuse and manipulation.
Accusations have since stretched across industries to include political circles, with Senate nominee Roy Moore of Alabama also at the center of sexual misconduct allegations.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.