It turns out Senator Sleazy was a deceased Democratic war hero.
The unnamed lawmaker who told Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) he liked his girls "chubby" was none other than Sen. Daniel Inouye, a Democrat and Medal of Honor winner who represented Hawaii in the Senate for nearly 50 years before his death in 2012.
Inouye was IDed as the offending senator Monday morning by veteran New York Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse.
Gillibrand made waves over the summer when she revealed in her memoir and subsequent book tour that she had been on the receiving end of a number of inappropriate comments by male lawmakers during her eight years in the House and Senate.
She steadfastly refused to name names, drawing criticism from some pundits and interviewers.
Perhaps the most obnoxious comment she reported hearing came during a time when she was trying to lose weight. "Don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!" one male lawmaker told her as he squeezed her waist, she wrote.
That was reportedly Inouye. The Times report came from anonymous sources, and Gillibrand's office would neither confirm nor deny that he made the comment.
But given Inouye's stature, it is reasonable to assume she would strenuously deny the report if it was not true. In the book, Gillibrand described the lawmaker as "one of my favorite older members of the Senate."
Inouye lost an arm fighting against the Germans in World War II and received both the Medal of Honor and, posthumously, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. After his death in late 2012, he received the rare honor of lying in state in the Capitol rotunda. At the time he died, he was the Senate president pro tempore and third in line of succession to the presidency.
But as Hulse pointed out, Inouye was accused of sexual misconduct before, when in 1992 his hairdresser said he forced her to have sex with him.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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