Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) got hit with reports of staff mistreatment shortly before the launch of her 2020 Democratic presidential bid, and it doesn’t look like the rumors are stopping anytime soon as a new report reveals several bizarre stories recalled by former staffers.
According to interviews conducted by The New York Times with two dozen former staffers, the Minnesota Democrat once ate her salad with a comb then made her staff “clean it.”
The alleged incident occurred during a 2008 trip when they were at an airport and a former aide retrieved a salad for the senator but forgot the plastic fork. Klobuchar reportedly instantly “berated” the staffer.
According to four sources, Klobuchar then used a comb from her bag to eat the salad and then told her staffer to “clean it.”
The report claims Klobuchar’s behavior was “not just demanding but often dehumanizing” and describes the work environment as full of “volatility, highhandedness and distrust.”
Additional reports accused the senator of having her outgoing staffers’ job offers rescinded, and a writer for HBO’s “Veep” admitted a “well-known rumor” about her making a staffer shave her legs was written into the show.
During a CNN town hall recently, Klobuchar admitted she can be a “tough boss” and holds “high expectations” for herself and her staffers while downplaying the rumors:
“Am I a tough boss sometimes? Yes. Have I pushed people too hard? Yes. But I have kept expectations for myself that are very high. I’ve asked my staff to meet those same expectations, and the big point for me is, I want the country to meet high expectations because we don’t have that going now.”
Klobuchar’s office defended her against the most recent report in a statement from campaign spokeswoman Carlie Waibel to the Times.
“The senator has repeatedly acknowledged that she can be tough and push people hard,” she said. “But these anonymous stories — some of which are just plain ridiculous — do not overshadow the countless experiences of people on the senator’s team who she has been so proud to work with.”