Herman Cain has been taking heat for his response to questions about Politico's story on alleged sexual harassment. But today on Morning Joe, it was Politico's own Jonathan Martin, lead author of the story, who was being evasive about the details of the allegations against Cain.
Incredibly, when Willie Geist asked him to describe specifically what Politico is accusing Cain of having done, Martin hemmed, hawed then ultimately said "we're just not going to get into the details of exactly what happened with these women," beyond the sketchy generalities in the Politico story. Video after the jump.
Watch Martin mambo away from Geist's question.
WILLIE GEIST: Hey Jonathan, what are the allegations specifically as you understand them? There's obviously a wide range in sexual harassment. What did he do?
JONATHAN MARTIN: We-, we-, well we have to be careful about that obviously, because we're sensitive to --
GEIST: Of course --
MARTIN: -- the sourcing involved here. And also, what actually happened to these women as well--we want to be sensitive to that, too. It includes both verbal and physical gestures. These women felt uncomfortable, they were unhappy about their treatment, and they complained to both colleagues and senior officials. In one case it involved, I think, inviting a woman up to a hotel room of Cain's on the road. Um, but, we-, we-, we're just not going to get into the details of exactly what happened with these women beside what's in the story.
And remember, as for the details in the Politico story, they are as ambiguous as can be [emphasis added]:
"[C]onversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature, taking place at hotels during conferences, at other officially sanctioned restaurant association events and at the association’s offices. There were also descriptions of physical gestures that were not overtly sexual but that made women who experienced or witnessed them uncomfortable and that they regarded as improper in a professional relationship."
So part of the alleged sexual harassment consisted of gestures that "were not overtly sexual" but that made people feel "uncomfortable." Politico is going to have to do better than that. Martin's evasiveness today was telling.