Feb 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Warren skewers Bloomberg over a "drip, drip, drip" of sexual harassment accusations

Warren and Bloomberg on Feb. 19. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday's debate stage of signing "who knows how many" non-disclosure agreements with his female employees over sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

What she's saying: "Mr. Mayor, are you willing to release all of those women from those non-disclosure agreements, so we can hear their side of the story?"

  • She added: "We are not gonna beat Donald Trump with a man who has who knows how many non-disclosure agreements and the 'drip, drip, drip' of stories of women saying they have been harassed and discriminated against."

What he's saying: "We're not going to end these agreements because they were made consensually," Bloomberg said, adding that he expects them to "remain private."

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden argued that a non-disclosure agreement with Bloomberg would include accusations of misconduct.

The big picture: Non-disclosure agreements have effectively been used to settle sexual harassment or misconduct claims and keep them out of the public eye.

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"It was 30 years ago, get over it": Mike Bloomberg's partner brushes off NDA concerns

Diana Taylor at a Mike Bloomberg event last month. Photo: Ron Adar/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Diana Taylor, Mike Bloomberg's longtime partner, dismissed the concerns surrounding non-disclosure agreements used at his company, Bloomberg LP, telling CBS News that she would say to those bothered by the allegations, "It was 30 years ago, get over it."

Why it matters: Democratic candidates have used the NDAs as a talking point against Bloomberg, calling on him to allow women to speak about the reported sexual harassment and gender discrimination they faced while working for him.

Debate night: Democrats fight for make-or-break moments in Nevada

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg defended his wealth to his Democratic competitors in his debate debut, while Sen. Bernie Sanders, a front-runner, faced comparisons to President Trump over his populist appeals, at the ninth Democratic debate in Las Vegas Wednesday just days before the Nevada caucuses.

The big picture: Sanders argued that Bloomberg's version of centrism won't produce the voter turnout needed to beat Trump. Bloomberg retorted that he doesn't think there's "any chance, whatsoever" of Sanders beating Trump and struck at the senator's Medicare for All plan.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release women identified to have signed three nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.