Home » Former top Biden aide confirms reports of WH official’s alleged bullying, sexual harassment of staffers

Former top Biden aide confirms reports of WH official’s alleged bullying, sexual harassment of staffers

by Marko Florentino
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The reported actions of a top White House official that included allegations of longtime bullying and verbal sexual harassment of staffers are accurate, a former top Biden aide told Fox News Digital, who said the claims should trigger an internal investigation.

On Tuesday, the New York Post reported that first lady Jill Biden’s top aide, Anthony Bernal, who is openly gay, has a history of questionable work conduct but is deemed “untouchable” because she views him as her “work husband.” 

Bernal, according to the report, has been known to speculate on the penis size of staffers in a move one of the publication’s sources believed was to make people uncomfortable and gain the upper hand.

“It lines up with everything I experienced working there,” the former top Biden aide, who wished to remain anonymous, told Fox News Digital of the report.

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Anthony Bernal

Anthony Bernal, assistant to the president and senior adviser to the first lady, is seen outside Saint Edmond Roman Catholic Church while waiting for President Biden to leave after attending Mass in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Aug. 12, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

“I’m surprised it has taken this long for so many staffers to speak out,” they said. “I wouldn’t be shocked if this empowered current and past staff to move forward.”

According to the Post’s report, two individuals said Bernal shared his theory that a person’s thumb size correlates with their penis size. He allegedly did so in the current White House, in previous roles in the Biden campaign and during Biden’s vice presidency.

“It is to make people uncomfortable and to have power over them,” one source told the publication. “It is Me Too – classic Me Too.”

Another source told the Post that Bernal had often speculated on the penis size of several individuals, including political aides and Secret Service agents.

A third added that before Biden’s presidency, Bernal told a colleague he had a small penis during a dispute. On another occasion, he commented on a “staffer’s bulge in his khakis.”

“It was a lot of inappropriate remarks — talking about other people’s attractiveness and speculating about their sex lives at very weird moments,” the source told the Post. “That’s actually sexual harassment.”

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Anthony Bernal, Jill Biden

First lady Jill Biden talks with her senior adviser, Anthony Bernal, before a speech at the Carondelet Palace in Quito, Ecuadory, on May 19, 2022. (Erin Schaff/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Bernal also regularly questioned people’s sexuality and would attempt to poke into their personal lives, according to the report, which came after the publication spoke to nearly a dozen current and former staffers. 

The individuals said they came forward because they wanted Bernal held accountable for his actions. 

“If the White House Counsel is investigating the behavior of a junior staffer in the scheduling and advance office, does that mean they’re investigating Anthony Bernal, an assistant to the president, too?” the former top Biden aide told Fox News Digital. “A dozen sources seem like enough to trigger that type of internal investigation.”

White House chief of staff Jeff Zients responded to the allegations by saying he and the Bidens have “full confidence in Anthony’s character.”

“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,” Zients told the Post. “It is disappointing that he is the target of unfounded attacks from unnamed sources.”

Meanwhile, the former aide also told Fox News Digital that Zients should be furious at the White House over the situation. 

“From a comms approach, I have no idea what the hell they were thinking by putting Jeff Zients’ name on a statement defending a guy accused by a dozen staffers of being a bully and worse,” the former aide said. “If I were Zients, I would be furious that I was left up the creek without a paddle. No one was protecting him in an effort to protect a serial abuser who has been a ticking time bomb for the Bidens for over a decade. If it weren’t for that book from a New York Times reporter, this would have continued to go unnoticed.” 

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Anthony Bernal

Annie Tomasini, director of Oval Office Operations, and Anthony Bernal, adviser to the first lady, are shown outside the White House on Feb. 16, 2024. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“Aside from associating the White House chief of staff with a culture of abuse, bullying and harassment, they have elevated a story in an outlet they rarely treat with any credibility,” the former aide added. “They go out of their way to tell everyone to ignore the [New York] Post. But when you provide a statement from the White House chief of staff, you’re giving the story an avalanche of credibility and providing a permission structure for other outlets and journalists to advance the story.”

Sources told the Post they believe Bernal will not face consequences due to his proximity to the first lady. In her book, “Where the Light Enters,” she thanked Bernal, saying he provided her with “insights and guidance.”

“He knows how much I love him and respect him,” she added.

“Working for the Bidens is like living in another century,” a source told the Post. “You really cannot speak up without fear of personal or professional retaliation.”

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“He is by far the worst and most well-known abuser, but the Biden White House is a magnet for ugly and abusive workplace behavior,” they continued. “It’s totally inexcusable [in] this day [and] age, especially with Biden’s own narrative about standing up to bullies.”

The White House and first lady’s office did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment nor did they answer whether they would investigate Bernal’s actions.



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