Karen Kraushaar calls Herman Cain 'a serial denier'
November 8th, 2011
10:15 PM ET
11 years ago

Karen Kraushaar calls Herman Cain 'a serial denier'

Washington (CNN) - Karen Kraushaar, who went public earlier Tuesday confirming she was one of the women who previously filed a sexual harassment claim against Herman Cain, told CNN she is considering releasing the details of her allegations against Cain.

"I have kept all of the copies of my allegations," she said. "So I believe that could happen."

In her first interview since Cain's Tuesday news conference - in which he vehemently denied ever sexually harassing anyone - Kraushaar refused to comment specifically on Cain's defense. But she did say that if the female accusers get together to air their charges publicly, she expected he would still deny them.

"He's a serial denier," she said. "He will deny if it is four or 40 women."

Even so, Kraushaar told CNN she would like to organize a joint press conference some time in the near future with some of the other women who have alleged sexual harassment against Cain.

"There is safety in numbers," she said. "It is important that it happen in one conference."

Kraushaar's attorney, Joel Bennett, told CNN that Gloria Allred and her client, Sharon Bialek, have agreed to participate.

Kraushaar added that "it's so uncomfortable for people to say what happened" - as Bialek did earlier this week with her public allegations - that "with the redaction of certain names," documents might be the least painful way for the women to tell their stories.

Saying it's "no longer a private matter" she called the alleged sexual harassment by Cain "a personally embarrassing matter."

She made the case that, as a civil servant now working for the Treasury Department, she is a "federal career employee and I can't enter into electioneering." But, she added, 'sexual harassment is not a Democratic problem or a Republican problem. It's an American problem."

Kraushaar told CNN she entered into a $46,000 sexual harassment settlement with the National Restaurant Association in 1999 and said she was aware of the other settlement the association previously reached with a different employee.

"I lived by the strictures of the confidentiality agreement for 12 years," she told CNN. But when approached by Politico, she felt like she couldn't deny the story. The site "had two names," she said. "At that point, if I deny, I'm lying."

Kraushaar knows something about the media. She currently serves as the spokesman for a bureau within the Treasury Department.

She also indicated that Cain's story about her - in which he says that he gesturing that her she is the same height as his wife - has nothing to do with her harassment allegations

"A comment like that is so innocuous it wasn't even a part of my complaint," she said, allowing that it sounds "vaguely familiar." Without disclosing details, she said that there was "an incident in my office that was part of my complaint" that was the "inappropriate behavior."

Trying to pre-empt criticism, she also confirmed that she had filed one complaint while working at another federal agency about not being able to telecommute after a car accident while a colleague was able to do so - and she felt it was unfair. She says she was always an employee in good standing.

–CNN Senior Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this story.

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. Roger

    There were several women that accused Bill Clinton other than Monica Lewinski and Jennifer Flowers of sexual harassment, misconduct, and even rape. As bad or worse than what Herman Cain is accused of. We know now that Bill was caught in a bald faced lie and spent millions of taxpayer dollars to sustain his lie. But after he was CAUGHT in his lie Gloria Allred and the media didn't go back to those other accusers and have them tell their story or pursue the truth for them on a sensational stage. So many people said that was his personal business and wouldn't hesitate to reelect him today. What a world we live in...

    November 9, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    "CNN did not include in their report that her son works at Politico and she was promoted to her current position by the Obama Administration"
    So Bob, it's okay to sexually harass women if the aren't die-hard Repubs?
    Because then they would do anything for $40K – you guys are sick.

    November 9, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. sortakinda

    Does this mean she ISN'tT the same height as Cain's wife?

    November 9, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. sortakinda

    Politics is soooo confusing.

    November 9, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Corporations R. People II

    @ Yellow Rose
    Thanks for the chuckle. Herm is shockingly unarmed to engage in a battle of wits with President Obama. As far as eating Obama's lunch - not gonna happen. Barack doesn't like disgusting pizza, so Herm is out of luck there.

    November 9, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Rich

    Of course these ladies didn't come say anything 10 years ago.10 years ago this low life wasn't trying to be president and telling lies left and richt to please the Koch bros...and they were made to sign a settlement not to talk about this pig...

    November 9, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    Mr. KochCain is in deep denial, as are his delusional supporters who think the Dems are behind this. And Bob is lyng about this:

    "CNN did not include in their report that her son works at Politico". That lie started with someone in KochCain's campaign, and he later had to admit it was false. Try to keep up.

    November 9, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Jane Seymore

    So she broke the "confidentiality agreement" that she agreed to....so this is the person I am supposed to believe?

    November 9, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Mermaid

    The SADDEST thing? Cain doesn't have a better response than complete denial, intimating that the women are liars! Admit it, apologize and it would already be old news...his attitude shows me that he isn't quite the upstanding man I had previously thought he was...disappointing!

    November 9, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Jen

    Seriously cannot believe how many people are so ready to call these women liars, like it's COMPLETELY UNHEARD OF that a man would sexually harrass them.

    November 9, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. Rich

    Believe me Obama would LOVE to have Cain as a running mate....Perry or the tea baggers outed him.Herm would be the best thing that could happen to Obama......Obama2012...........By the time this all comes out there will be 20 blondes outing

    November 9, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Dennis

    The saddest part of this whole story is this is probably the first time Cain's wife is learning about the kind of husband she's been married to this whole time. Of course, she won't want to believe any of it, and not confronting him about it will just make the pain even worse down the road.

    November 9, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Rich in Colorado

    Sounds like you folks have already convicted the guy, wonder WHY.

    November 9, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. biased1

    Cain downplayed the incident by relating the innocent same-height-as-my-wife guesture. If he remembers such a trivial detail about Krauschaar's $46000 harassment settlement, well then clearly he is covering up much more memorable facts. His cover-up would have been far more plausible if he had simply claimed he recalled nothing.

    November 9, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. Lynn

    "CNN did not include in their report that her son works at Politico and she was promoted to her current position by the Obama Administration"

    Not included because CNN did its research & this is NOT true. The journalist with the same last name who used to work at Politico (but not for 16 months) is NOT her son nor any relative at all. I have no information about her promotion and maybe CNN doesn't, either. But, she works in the Obama Administrative by virtue of being a federal employee. That doesn't make this issue political. In 1997, she worked for the NRA & that's when this complaint was filed.

    November 9, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. Democrat (I know, dirty word)

    Reality TV strikes again.
    I'm pretty much a dyed in the wool liberal ~ but I would like to see Huntsman as the GOP candidate. I think he'd be worth listening too.

    November 9, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    Pertnear (who states) Funny how the liberal press ignores the fact that Kraushaar sued the next employer she worked for as well – sounds like she is a serial suer. Also interesting that her son worked for Politico, which is the organization she first announced the accusations, a coincidence? I think not. Also, when pressed for details about the second lawsuit, she can't remember all of the details – selective memory?
    Probably not a good idea to cry "selective" memory about others when your own seems to be as "selective". CNN Political Ticker has already posted a previous article stating that the Cain camp was wrong in their accusations that Kraushaar's "son" works for Politico. Whether or not she even has a son is unknown. The man you are referring to no longer works at Politico, has stated he is not her son, and went on the record stating he had no previous knowledge of her.

    November 9, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. Brian

    I don't believe her. I don't *not* believe her. I have no idea whether or not her allegations are true. What I think is that her allegations are going to be mpossible to prove. This (by her own account) isn't like the Lewinsky think where here was biological evidence. It's purely he-said, she-said. (She can document that she made the allegation, but that's not the same as documenting that it happened.) Unless someone's got something on video, this won't cause Cain to have to drop out. Not directly, anyway. If the allegations are believed by enough people, and it affects him in the polls, *that* might force him out, but the mere fact that the allegation was made is harmless unless it can be proven.

    November 9, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. Lynne

    Please remember that Cain's smoking guy got on Fox news and all but challenged these women to come forward and bring their allegations to the public and now that they are Cain and his team are having fits...all of his supporters are calling them lairs.

    The women with settlements were also legally bound not to talk about it Mediahound...so until this came out into the open they honored their settlement.

    And just because Mr. Cain says her complaint was baseless doesn't make it so. If the employer gave her that much money...something happened and they wanted to hush it up!!!!!!!!!! If it was baseless they would have threatened her, and fought her and taken her to court etc etc etc. They had the money and power and clout! She didn't.

    November 9, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. CSR

    So which group of American people are brainwashed Mr. Cain?

    November 9, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. So what?

    So what if her son is a Democrat who works for Politico (the organization that broke the story) and she was promoted in her current position by the Obama Administration? It doesn't diminish her credibility a single bit. It's absurd to think that this is somehow a Democratic plot because I'm sure they aren't looking at Cain as the probable Republican opponent. Most likely this was an act of revenge by some pretty tee'd victims who realize they finally have an opportunity to make him pay personally for what he did. Stop trying to shoot the messengers.

    November 9, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. So what?

    My apologies, thanks Lynn. I just assumed the journalist was her son and a Democrat. Turns out there isn't even that connection there. Getting a lot tougher to be a Cain/Republican enabler. Not to worry though, I'm sure they'll just blame it on the media. Oh wait, they already did that too.

    November 9, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. BlueCrab

    Is it time to ask Mr. Cain what he wants on his Tombstone? Not knowlegable about China and atomic bomb? Electric fence along U.S. border? Serial sexual harasser? Or perhaps a sexual assaulter (if he did indeed try to reach her genitals)? Enough here to make me wonder about his suitability to be GOP nominee. Think how this would play if he were a Democrat.

    November 9, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Burgess123

    Did people really expect that Mr. Cain was going to come clean about allegation from the four ladies..have you forgotten"I can't Remember" few minutes later "I can Remember" Mr. Cain need 14 more years to refresh his memories.

    November 9, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Lejaune

    Cain probably did what Bialek described and that's not quite up to the level of harassment. He should have just honestly admit it and people may have more respect for him. We all made stupid and clumsy moves in our dealings with the members of opposite sex but the key is that he stopped his advances promptly and respectfully. He should be praised for that, if he can be honest about it.

    November 9, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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