Bloomberg Advisor Brings Up Warren’s Ancestry Claims to Defend His Candidate’s Conduct Toward Women: ‘People Make Mistakes’
Bloomberg senior adviser Tim O’Brien gave credit to Sen. Elizabeth Warren for prompting his candidate to offer to release three claimants from their non-disclosure agreements with the billionaire, but he then brought up her incorrect ancestry claims to ask for forgiveness of his candidate’s past conduct.
During an appearance on CNN’s The Situation Room, O’Brien acknowledged that Mike Bloomberg’s decision on Friday to allow three women to opt out of their non-disclosure agreements over inappropriate comments the media tycoon made to them was spurred by Warren’s hammering on this issue in Wednesday’s debate and afterwards.
“Of course Senator Warren flagging has played a role in the decision, and I admire senator Warren greatly. She’s an incredibly public servant,” O’Brien told host Wolf Blitzer. “I was disappointed in how she conducted herself on the debate stage. She accused Michael Bloomberg of saying things he’s never said. That’s been of a piece with a lot of quotes that have been attributed to him that he didn’t say himself.”
But he then pivoted to pushing back on Warren’s brutal takedown of Bloomberg’s past insults of women and noted the public attacks she has endured from the president.
“I have to believe she knew full well that what she said on that debate stage wasn’t something that Michael Bloomberg had said himself,” O’Brien said, even though fact-checks of Warren back up her claims. “Of course, Senator Warren knows what it’s like to be on the other side of smearing and public abuse. President Trump has been doing it to her for the past two years or so.”
“We’re happy to try to resolve this by becoming much clearer with the NDAs that have been in question,” O’Brien added, while announcing that Bloomberg’s company was now ending the practice of using NDAs to resolve sexual harassment claims. “I think Mike decided it was time to be proactive on this, and get it out of the way to reassure the tens of millions of people in this country who are already supporters of Mike Bloomberg that there was no reason for them not to keep their faith in him.”
Blitzer then read a statement from Warren who dismissed Bloomberg’s actions as insufficient. “This is a direct quote from Senator Elizabeth Warren: ‘That’s just not good enough. Michael Bloomberg,’ she says, ‘needs to do a blanket release so that all women who have been muzzled by the NDAs can step up and tell their side of the story in terms of what Michael Bloomberg has done.'”
“What’s your reaction to what she just said?” Blitzer followed up.
“We’ll continue to do as much as we can around this,” O’Brien began, before bringing up her past claims of Native American ancestry, which she has apologized for. “You know, it’s interesting to me with Senator Warren’s position — position on this, there was a lot of concerns about claims Senator Warren had made about her own ancestry when she applied to colleges. She acknowledged publicly that she had made a mistake. She asked the public to give her a second chance, and realized sometimes that people make mistakes.”
“I think it would behoove everyone involved in this discussion to be forgiving,” O’Brien added. “I think Senator Warren has spent most of her career as a uniter. She clearly right now has found something that she doesn’t want to let go of. I think there’s a lot of good reasons she focused on this, but I also think it’s — we are doing as much as we possibly can in realtime to address this — and I think voters are going to see that.”
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.
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