The “#MeToo” movement, aiming to bring light to the previously vastly under-reported epidemic of sexual harassment in the United States, is continuing to build. Now, although a documented sexual harasser remains at the top of the administration, another government official has been revealed as a pervert who seeks to force his fantasies on others.
POLITICO reports that Mel Watt, who serves as the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, is under internal government investigation for routinely trying to force his feelings about a particular female employee into conversations with her. That situation reached the point of him driving her away from the FHFA office for a meeting; some of the inappropriate, completely out of place advances came during that car ride.
During those April 2016 interactions between the unnamed employee and Watt, she said to him at one point:
‘My impression was that you wanted to discuss the work-related items I’ve been talking to [a superior] about. But, if that’s not the case, then I think I should take you back to FHFA. Because I don’t want any confusion here.’
Watt didn’t stop. In June 2016, he asked the employee about kissing a tattoo on her ankle. The individual again made it clear exactly where she stood with the issue, commenting:
‘I already told you I don’t want to have conversations like that with you.’
Months later, in November, Watt whined to the individual about her rejection of his “advances.” The employee replied that she was in a relationship, but even that didn’t stop the accused creep, who commented;
‘I love my wife too. Having an attraction for someone else doesn’t have to mean you don’t love them.’
The conversations were recorded and POLITICO reviewed the transcripts, although it’s not immediately clear who did the original recording.
The harassment extended beyond the aforementioned conversations; the employee claims that she had a promotion withheld after she rebuffed Watt’s harassment.
The investigation into the conversations has been ongoing for at least a month, according to the publication, which also notes that government agencies have 180 days to investigate a complaint filed under the Equal Employment Opportunity Act before original filers are entitled to file a lawsuit.
The employee’s lawyer confirmed the existence of the investigation. Watt, unsurprisingly, whined about the existence of the report and insisted he’s innocent of wrongdoing, saying;
‘I am confident that the investigation currently in progress will confirm that I have not done anything contrary to law.’
Watt was originally appointed to his agency, which controls the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in 2014.
He is not the first government official to be affected by sexual harassment allegations in the wake of the rise of the “#MeToo” movement. John Conyers, Al Franken, Patrick Meehan, and Blake Farenthold have all resigned from Congress in the wake of such claims.
Throughout the “#MeToo” movement, Donald Trump has led the United States despite credible sexual harassment allegations from numerous women. He has denied the allegations, but he has displayed repugnant sexism on numerous occasions well beyond that of his conversation about assaulting women caught on the “Access Hollywood” tape. What sort of consequences he could face for that behavior remains to be seen.
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