Thanks to a decision by The Daily — News Corp’s iPad-only newspaper — to out her this morning, a communications director at the Treasury Dept. has become the second woman to have her name put to accusations that Herman Cain is a serial sexual harasser.
Whether she likes it or not — and it seems clear that she doesn’t — Karen Kraushaar’s name will now be part of the story of Cain’s history of being accused of inappropriate behavior at work. Kraushaar, 55, confirmed to NPR Tuesday she was one of the women who complained about Cain’s actions at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s and settled the claims with the NRA.
Cain is scheduled to give a press conference later today about the allegations levied by Sharon Bialek, who went public on Monday. His campaign has been tearing into the 50 year-old former NRA employee since she stood with Gloria Allred and detailed a 1997 incident when she says Cain groped her when she asked for help finding a job.
Kraushaar, one of two women to reportedly settle with the NRA over Cain’s behavior (Bialek was not employed at the time of her interaction with Cain and is not one of the original accusers) is not interested in detailing her experience.
Kraushaar has confirmed to NPR that she is one of the first two women, but declined to say more about the incident, beyond an anonymous statement her lawyer issued last week.
She has resisted having her name or her story become part of an increasingly grubby narrative that threatens to badly damage, if not end, the candidate’s quest for the Republican presidential nomination.
Like Bialek, Kraushaar does not come across as a liberal critic out to smear Cain as some conservatives predicted. NPR reports Kraushaar is “a career federal employee and registered Republican.”
Through her lawyer, Joel Bennett, Kraushaar has offered some insight into what led to her formally complaining about Cain to the NRA. Last week, Bennett read a statement (anonymously) from Kraushaar that mentioned “a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances from the CEO.”
On Tuesday, Bennett told the New York Times that Bialek’s accusations were “very similar” to those of his client.
Cain has said he never harassed anyone, and has called the two complaints settled by the NRA while he was CEO of the trade group “baseless.”