Hillary Clinton’s former long-time aide spoke out for the first time Wednesday about a claim she made in a forthcoming book about an unnamed U.S. senator who kissed her against her will in his office around 2005.
Huma Abedin, who served as Clinton’s closest aide for about 25 years, described the incident for CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell in an interview to be aired on Sunday that involved the senator whom she accompanied back to his Washington, D.C., apartment following a dinner that was attended by several others.
“I did go back to a senator’s apartment – a senator who I knew and was very comfortable with – and he kissed me, in a very shocking way,” Abedin, 45, told O’Donnell. “Because it was somebody I had known, and, frankly, trusted.”
The anchor went on to ask Abedin if she felt like she had been sexually assaulted.
“I’m suggesting that I was in an uncomfortable situation, with a senator, and I didn’t know how to deal with it,” she responded. “And I buried the whole experience. But in my own personal opinion, no.”
In her first television interview for @CBSSunday, Huma Abedin details an encounter where a Senator kissed her while she was an aide to then-Senator Hillary Clinton.
“I was in an uncomfortable situation with a Senator and I didn’t know how to deal with it,” Abedin tells us. pic.twitter.com/umB3bCXaPU
— Norah O’Donnell 🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) October 27, 2021
“Did I feel like he was assaulting me in that moment? It didn’t feel that way,” Abedin, the ex-wife of disgraced former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), continued. “It felt like I needed to extricate myself from that situation. And he also spent a lot of time apologizing and making sure I was OK.”
She added: “And we were actually able to rebalance our relationship.”
According to her book, “Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds,” Abedin wrote that she “ended up walking out with one of the senators” after the dinner, “and soon we stopped in front of his building and he invited me in for coffee. Once inside, he told me to make myself comfortable on the couch.”
She said that the two continued to chat while he took off his coat and made some coffee.
“Then, in an instant, it all changed. He plopped down to my right, put his left arm around my shoulder, and kissed me, pushing his tongue into my mouth, pressing me back on the sofa,” she noted in her book.
“I was so utterly shocked, I pushed him away. All I wanted was for the last 10 seconds to be erased,” says the book, as Abedin added that the senator also appeared to be surprised, saying he “misread” the Clinton aide “all this time.”
“Then I said something only the twentysomething version of me would have come up with — ‘I am so sorry’ — and walked out, trying to appear as nonchalant as possible,” she wrote after contemplating how to leave “without this ending badly.”
She went on to say she buried the incident in her mind only to have it resurface during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings, in which he was accused of sexual assault by Prof. Christine Blasey Ford when the two of them were young. Her claims were unsupported by evidence, however.
Later, O’Donnell asked Abedin why she brought up the incident now in her upcoming book.
“I think for most of my adult life, certainly in the last 25 years that I’ve been in public service or in the public eye, I have been the invisible person behind the primary people in my life,” she told the NBC News anchor.
“But what I realize is that if you don’t tell your story, somebody else is writing your history.”
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