During Wednesday morning House Democratic caucus, South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn compared the women who have accused John Conyers of sexual harassment to child murderer Susan Smith.
The congressman also reportedly noted that Conyers’ accusers are “all white women.”
The remarks were first reported by Robert Draper, a writer for The New York Times Magazine, who insists that Clyburn has made the statements multiple times to both staffers and other members of Congress.
Clyburn took to Twitter to deny the allegations, but Draper stuck with his story and asserted that his sources are solid.
“This is inaccurate in many regards. That discussion had nothing to with Conyers,” Clyburn tweeted at Draper.
This is inaccurate in many regards. That discussion had nothing to with Conyers. https://t.co/EWeokwGn50
— James E. Clyburn (@RepJamesClyburn) November 29, 2017
In response, the reporter quoted Clyburn’s tweet and asked, “that discussion was specifically & exclusively about Conyers, according to 2 attendees. Who else could you have been referring to when bringing up Susan Smith?”
Smith, who is also from South Carolina, is a white woman who is currently imprisoned for drowning her children in 1994 and blaming the murders on a “black man” who did not exist.
Clyburn was already in hot water over a video posted to Twitter in which he implied that there are different standards for sexual harassment when it involves elected officials.
“Other men in other industries have faced similar accusations … and gotten out of the way, resign, stepped down, far faster than he has, right … Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer?” Clyburn was asked by a reporter regarding Conyers.
CBC Chair Richmond asks for ex. of ppl leaving jobs faster than Conyers when face sexual harassment claims; Clyburn asks "who elected them?" pic.twitter.com/FGDNbvBUcg
— Alex Moe (@alexmoeflo) November 29, 2017
Clyburn responded by asking, “who elected them?”
On Wednesday evening, the Associated Press reported that Conyers’ lawyer once again asserted that the octogenarian has no plans to resign amid the allegations of sexual harassment.
“He’s going to fight these allegations tooth and nail if he has to with evidence, with documentation, witnesses, whatever he has to do,”attorney Arnold Reed told The Associated Press. “And the accusers will have to prove up their case.”
Last week, author and journalist Mike Cernovich provided documentation to Buzzfeed News showing that Conyers had settled a sexual harassment complaint from a staffer in 2015. Buzzfeed additionally published signed affidavits from other former staffers who had witnessed the 88-year-old politician touching his female staff inappropriately or requesting sexual favors.