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In Comey’s testimony, some see parallels to sexual harassment victims

  • Former F.B.I. director James Comey's situation brought to mind sexual harassment for some commentators.
  • Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee asked Comey why he did not immediately report President Trump's behavior as inappropriate.
Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC.
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Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC.

For some people who watched James B. Comey's Senate testimony on Thursday, the questions that Mr. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, faced and the situations he described brought to mind a seemingly unrelated topic: sexual harassment.

As members of the Senate Intelligence Committee questioned Mr. Comey, sometimes sharply, asking why he did not immediately report any behavior by President Trump that he thought was inappropriate, why he did not quit as F.B.I. director and why he continued to take private calls from Mr. Trump even after he was unnerved by their one-on-one interactions, commentators on social media made comparisons to the difficulties and doubts faced by women who have been sexually harassed or abused.

Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker's television critic, said that the situation reminded her of the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News that led to the ouster of Roger Ailes, the network's former chairman, and Bill O'Reilly, the former Fox News host.

And for some who were watching, the testimony underscored how sexual harassment is more about power than sex.

Not all of whose who watched Mr. Comey testify were comfortable with the comparison, saying that it trivialized victims of harassment and abuse.

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