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Marco Rubio fires chief of staff over misconduct allegations

The Florida senator’s chief of staff, Clint Reed, is accused of engaging in “improper conduct” with a subordinate.

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Emily Stewart covered business and economics for Vox and wrote the newsletter The Big Squeeze, examining the ways ordinary people are being squeezed under capitalism. Before joining Vox, she worked for TheStreet.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) fired his chief of staff on Saturday evening over allegations of “improper conduct” with a subordinate. Rubio said in a statement released on Saturday that on Friday he was made aware of allegations that his chief of staff, Clint Reed, had violated office policies regarding proper relations between supervisors and their subordinates, including “threats to withhold employment benefits.” Rubio said he had “sufficient evidence” to conclude that the allegations should lead to Reed’s termination.

“We have taken steps to ensure that those impacted by this conduct have access to any services they may require now or in the future,” Rubio said. “Pursuant to the wishes of those victimized by this conduct, we will not be disclosing any further details about the incidents which occurred.”

Reed, an Arkansas native, became Rubio’s chief of staff in January 2017 after managing Rubio’s 2016 US Senate campaign, according to the Miami Herald. He also worked on Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign as a senior adviser and Iowa state director and previously had positions with the Republican National Committee and the Arkansas Republican Party. Per Politico, Jessica Fernandez, Rubio’s deputy chief of staff, will act as interim chief of staff following Reed’s departure.

Republicans might want to take a cue from Rubio on dealing with Steve Wynn

News of Reed’s ouster lands as Republicans try to figure out how to deal with a bombshell report from the Wall Street Journal detailing multiple allegations against Steve Wynn. The Las Vegas casino mogul and former Republican National Committee finance chair was accused of decades of sexual harassment and assault by his employees, including coercing a manicurist to have intercourse with him in 2005.

Republicans have been slow to react to the news. The RNC on Saturday announced that Wynn had stepped down as finance chair — but thus far, little has been said about what they intend to do with the millions of dollars he’s donated to the party or other plans to sever ties. (It’s worth noting that Republicans were quick to jump on Democrats over their ties to producer Harvey Weinstein after allegations of sexual harassment and assault surfaced about him.)

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on This Week Sunday that RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel should get “ a day or two” to figure it out on Wynn. “But, you know, we should do of ourselves what we ask of the Democratic Party, if these allegations have merit,” he said. “So I don’t think we should have a double standard for ourselves.” We’re now well into day two.

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