Steve Bannon said in an interview that aired Sunday that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand set off an "earthquake in the Democratic Party" over her comment that former President Bill Clinton should have resigned over the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
“And I think you saw the first opening shot of the 2020 primary with Gillibrand, who clearly has presidential aspirations. She put a shot right across the bow of the Clintons,” Bannon told John Catsimatidis on AM970’s “The Answer”.
Gillibrand’s comments have ignited a debate within the party, with some cautiously urging to revisit the former president’s legacy while others criticized the senator.
Gillibrand, an anti-sexual harassment campaigner, sparked the controversy last Thursday after she told The New York Times that the “appropriate response” for Clinton would have been to resign following the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
"Yes, I think that is the appropriate response," she said. "Things have changed today, and I think under those circumstances there should be a very different reaction.”
Philippe Reines, a longtime Hillary Clinton aide, slammed the “hypocrite” Gillibrand, who “took the Clintons’ endorsements, money, and seat" only to denounce the former president.
“Interesting strategy for 2020 primaries. Best of luck,” he wrote on Twitter.
Reines later doubled-down on his attack, telling Politico “the idea that (Bill Clinton) got away with something in the context of what’s being discussed now is a little absurd” and that the former president should not be mentioned in the same breath as other men who were accused of sexual abuse recently.
Hillary Clinton, during a radio interview on Friday, said, “I don’t exactly know what she was trying to say," The Washington Post reported.
But some have said the debate is worth having.
“I think that’s a discussion that we’re going to have, and it’s a good discussion to have,” Kathy Sullivan, a Democratic National committeewoman, told New Hampshire Public Radio.
“Because I think there’s behavior that was not acceptable ever, but was kept quiet, or people just kind of ignored, from all sorts of different people, Republicans or Democrats, and now that’s changing. And that’s a good thing.”