National News

Texas Attorney General’s Aide Resigns After Mocking #MeToo Movement

Posted December 14, 2017 8:57 p.m. EST

A top aide to Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas resigned Thursday after posting a Facebook message that mocked the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment.

The aide, Associate Deputy Attorney General Andrew D. Leonie, had posted on Facebook early Wednesday: “Aren’t you also tired of all the pathetic ‘me too’ victim claims? If every woman is a ‘victim,’ so is every man. If everyone is a victim, no one is. Victim means nothing anymore.”

Marc Rylander, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said Leonie had resigned “effective immediately.” Employees in the Texas attorney general’s office are supposed to “refrain from posting information on the internet that could reasonably be expected to generate controversy and/or disruption at the OAG,” according to The Dallas Morning News, which first reported on the Facebook post.

“The views he expressed on social media do not reflect our values,” Rylander said in a statement. “The OAG is committed to promoting and maintaining a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment.”

Leonie did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent by Facebook and email Thursday evening, and no one answered the phone at his listed home number.

His Facebook post, since deleted, was accompanied by a link to an article in The Federalist titled “Can We Be Honest About Women?” That article — written by a woman, D.C. McAllister — argued that women “love the sexual interplay they experience with men, and they relish men desiring their beauty.”

“We can’t always assume women are hapless damsels in distress horrified by how they’re objectified,” McAllister wrote.

Through the #MeToo movement, millions of women have shared their accounts of sexual assault and harassment, putting an international spotlight on problems that have often been swept under the rug. The allegations publicized as a result have brought down dozens of public figures in a wide range of industries. But the movement has also encouraged women to talk about assault and harassment at the hands of ordinary men, and millions have described experiences ranging from catcalling to rape.

Leonie, who describes himself on Twitter as a “Deplorable & Irredeemable Texas Christian Tea Party Republican Constitutionalist Conservative Libertarian,” had worked for the attorney general’s office in various capacities since 2004, according to his LinkedIn page. He became associate deputy attorney general in 2015.