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Now New York Times is reporting alleged Klobuchar staff mistreatment

This is the third major report about working conditions in the senator's office.

For perhaps the first time, details regarding the Amy Klobuchar staff controversy are being reported by a major American newspaper — a marked shift from the online publications where the story first got its legs.

On Friday, the New York Times reported a fresh batch of allegations about Sen. Klobuchar's management style, culled from "interviews with more than two dozen former staff members and internal emails" reviewed by the paper.

But it's one allegation in particular that has a lot of people talking.

The paper relates one incident from 2008 in which a staff member failed to procure a fork for the senator, who was waiting to eat a salad on a flight to South Carolina:

"...once onboard, he delivered the grim news: He had fumbled the plastic eating utensils before reaching the gate, and the crew did not have any forks on such a short flight.

What happened next was typical: Ms. Klobuchar berated her aide instantly for the slip-up. What happened after that was not: She pulled a comb from her bag and began eating the salad with it, according to four people familiar with the episode.

Then she handed the comb to her staff member with a directive: Clean it."

The story — which has ignited conversation around social media — is similar in tone to those first reported by Huffington Post and BuzzFeed earlier this month.

However, both articles also quoted staff members as defending Klobuchar, with one saying the senator is "probably the most brilliant, hardworking person I’ve had the privilege to work for.”

For its part, Klobuchar's office responded to the stories with the following:

"Senator Klobuchar loves her staff — they are the reason she has gotten to where she is today. She has many staff who have been with her for years — including her Chief of Staff and her State Director, who have worked for her for 5 and 7 years respectively, as well as her political advisor Justin Buoen, who has worked for her for 14 years — and many who have gone on to do amazing things, from working in the Obama Administration (over 20 of them) to running for office to even serving as the Agriculture Commissioner for Minnesota. She is proud of them and the work they have done for Minnesota."

Notably, the stories broke just a few days before the senator announced her decision to run for president in 2020. 

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Klobuchar backs marijuana legalization

In other Klobuchar news that broke on Friday, the Minnesota senator came out in support of marijuana legalization.

"I support the legalization of marijuana and believe that states should have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana within their borders," she said in a statement given to the Washington Post and CNN.

She joins her major presidential nomination rivals in backing legalization.

It comes as more efforts to legalize marijuana in Minnesota are expected over the next year or two, following the Democrats' win in the Minnesota House and the election of Gov. Tim Walz.

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