Clinton said that she would have considered Weinstein a friend, but that she didn’t know anything about Weinstein’s alleged misconduct before the revelations in the New York Times last week, followed by a story in the New Yorker magazine and another Times article this week.
“I certainly didn’t, and I don’t know who did,” she told the network. “But I can only speak for myself, and I think speak for many others who knew him primarily through politics.”
Democrats in recent days have come under fire for being recipients of Weinstein’s political contributions, with Republicans immediately demanding that they return money from the movie producer.
Kellyanne Conway, a White House counselor, lambasted Clinton for her delay in condemning Weinstein, while CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said that Clinton’s “silence is deafening.”
Clinton issued a statement via her spokesman on Tuesday, five days after the story first broke, saying that she was “shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein.”
Clinton said Wednesday that she would give away Weinstein’s contributions.
“I give 10 percent of my income to charity every year. This will be part of that,” Clinton said. “There’s no — there’s no doubt about it.”
Weinstein and his family have given more than $1.4 million in political contributions to the Democratic Party since 1992, including $10,000 to Barack Obama, and $46,350 to Clinton and HILLPAC, a political action committee that she used to support other Democrats while she was a senator.
In response to the Republicans’ criticisms, several Democrats — including Sens. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — have pledged to transfer to charity any money they received in donations from Weinstein.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Tuesday that it, too, would give away to charity all donations from Weinstein.
Some of the highest-profile Democrats have publicly denounced Weinstein.
On Tuesday, former president Barack Obama issued a statement saying that he and Michelle are “disgusted” by the reports about Weinstein.
On Wednesday, former vice president Joe Biden joined the chorus of condemnation, calling Weinstein’s behavior “disgusting, immoral, and inexcusable.”
In her CNN interview, Clinton praised the bravery of women who have come forward to speak out against Weinstein, accusing him of making unwanted sexual advances.
“The courage of these women coming forward now is really important because it can’t just end with one person’s disgraceful behavior and the consequences that he is now facing,” Clinton said. “This has to be a wake-up call and shine a bright spotlight on anything like this behavior anywhere, at any time.”
In the days since the allegations against Weinstein were first publicized, the Hollywood producer has been fired as co-chairman of the Weinstein Co., which he co-founded with his brother. On Tuesday, his wife of 10 years, Georgina Chapman, announced that she was leaving him. While Weinstein initially apologized for his behavior, he has also “unequivocally denied” any allegations of nonconsensual sex, spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said in a statement to The Post.