Top WH Official Accused of 'Classic Me Too' Behavior: Report

Top WH Official Accused of 'Classic Me Too' Behavior: Report

Insiders have purportedly disclosed that a senior White House official has been involved in unprofessional behavior, but his close association with First Lady Jill Biden has shielded him from consequences, according to a recent report.

As detailed by the New York Post, "sources with firsthand knowledge" allege that Anthony Bernal, Biden's top aide and openly gay confidant dubbed as her "work husband," has a history of bullying employees and engaging in verbal and sexual harassment spanning over a decade.

The report claims that despite these allegations, no action has been taken against Bernal.

For instance, it is alleged that Bernal has repeatedly engaged in inappropriate conversations about comparing the size of men's genitalia, with references made to the size of a man's thumb indicating the size of his penis, as per sources cited in the report.

Moreover, Bernal is accused of mocking the genital sizes of coworkers and even Secret Service agents, purportedly to assert dominance over them.

"It is to make people uncomfortable and to have power over them," one source told the Post, likening the behavior to classic instances of sexual harassment.

Another source disclosed that Bernal frequently uses accusations of small penis size to taunt individuals, and in one instance, made comments about a staffer's appearance in his khakis.

According to the Post, this behavior has persisted for years, predating Joe Biden's presidency.

"It was a lot of inappropriate remarks," a source conveyed to the Post. "Talking about other people’s attractiveness and speculating about their sex lives at very weird moments … That’s actually sexual harassment."

The Post further reported accounts from numerous other insiders who corroborated claims of Bernal's alleged inappropriate conduct in the workplace.

"I have heard him say inappropriate things about people’s sexuality or pry inappropriately into people’s personal lives," one staffer asserted, as per the Post report. "I heard him ask if people are gay all the time."

Another individual stated, according to the Post, that Bernal frequently opined on others' sexual orientation.

The Post asserted that it found "almost a dozen" current or former staffers who agreed that Bernal routinely exhibits unprofessional behavior at work.

Many individuals reportedly view it as hypocritical for Biden to retain Bernal in such a significant role, especially given the Democratic Party's emphasis on combating harassment.

"They talk a big game about integrity, decency, and kindness but when you work for the Bidens, you experience anything but that," one source told the Post.

"They choose to surround themselves with bullies who run around the White House like mean girls, making the president and first lady look like phonies to everyone in Washington because everyone on the inside talks about what happens there on the outside."

Another source echoed similar sentiments, according to the Post.

"It reflects poorly on the president and the first lady," the source remarked.

While this is not the first time Bernal's behavior has been called into question, with Politico also reporting on it in 2021, it appears that no action has been taken thus far.

Insiders expressed doubt that any action would be taken due to Bernal's close relationship with the first lady.

Indeed, as Politico highlighted, in her 2019 memoir, Jill Biden lauded Bernal for his contributions, expressing deep appreciation for his support.

"A special thank-you to ANTHONY BERNAL, who spent countless hours, holidays, and weekends to push me to write," she wrote. "He knows how much I love him and respect him."

However, some insiders believe this sentiment contributes to the issue.

"I don’t think people understand how much power and influence he has. The problem is, it is career-ending for anyone to talk on the record for these stories," a source said, according to the Post.

In a statement to the Post, White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients defended Bernal, expressing full confidence in his character.

"The president and first lady have full confidence in Anthony’s character, as do I. His many fans at the White House know him to be both gracious and tough, holding himself up to the highest standards, with a heart dedicated to public service. It is disappointing that he is the target of unfounded attacks from unnamed sources."

Bernal also issued a statement refuting the allegations, according to the Post.

"These unfounded attacks are not true."

Bernal has been associated with the Biden administration since 2008, during Joe Biden's tenure as vice president under Barack Obama. Prior to that, he served on Al Gore's vice presidential staff.

Ultimately, the reputation of Bernal as a serial abuser of staffers and the culture of fear he has instilled in the White House has reportedly deterred new hires for Jill Biden's office, according to the Post.

"They couldn’t care less how staff is treated because staff is totally disposable to them. They’ve had a revolving door of staff catering to them for their entire adult lives," an insider told the Post.

A former White House official summed up the situation, as published by the Post: "He’s seen as untouchable due to his relationship with the first lady. Staff have been told he’s 'protected' by Jill or that they should take it up with him directly."

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