National Politics

Gretchen Carlson leaves door open to running for office

Carlson received $20M settle from 21st Century Fox

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson declined Thursday to rule out a run for public office, telling CNN's Poppy Harlow and John Berman that her life "has worked in mysterious ways."

"I started as a classical violinist and was going to be a lawyer and I ended up in TV and never expected to be the face of sexual harassment, so my answer to that question is, who knows?" she said.

Berman replied, "Were you sitting in our chair, like you did for a long time, I think you would take that answer to be an announcement that you are running for something."

"No, not yet," she said.

She didn't provide further details about a potential run, including which ticket she'd run on. But Connecticut's Republican Party is looking for Carlson to run in 2018 to challenge Democratic incumbent Sen. Chris Murphy, The Connecticut Post reported in April. She noted that she's been asked to run for Senate but said "that's not in my timing right now."

After an earlier version of this story said Carlson hadn't ruled out a Senate run, she tweeted, "No, I said I wouldn't rule out politics in general in my life. I'm not running for Senate in CT."

Last summer, Carlson went public with sexual harassment allegations against then-Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes and received a $20 million settlement and a public apology from 21st Century Fox.

When asked if there is a partisan divide in how people who report sexual harassment are treated, Carlson said the "obvious" answer is yes.

"What I've said from the beginning since my story broke 17 months ago is that sexual harassment is apolitical," she said. "It is completely disingenuous to believe some groups of women and not believe others, and that's what we're seeing play out right now."

Carlson has recently teamed up with several Democratic senators, including Al Franken, who is from her home state of Minnesota, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and other co-sponsors to help introduce the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2017. The bill would get rid of mandatory arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, civil rights and antitrust cases, and Carlson said it has bipartisan support in the House and Senate.

Following a raft of allegations he touched women inappropriately, Franken announced Thursday that he is resigning.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized Carlson's statements about a possible political future.


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