Presidential hopeful Andrew Yang’s appeared on “The View” Thursday defending allegations by a former staffer that she was fired from his test preparation company because she got married.
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In an essay published Friday by the Gotham Gazette, Kimberly Watkins, a former employee of Yang’s test preparation company Manhattan GMAT, claimed that even after hitting growth targets she was let go in 2007 after returning from her honeymoon. ABC News has not spoken to Watkins or verified these claims.
“There is zero truth to it. I’m happy to say, I’ve had so many phenomenal women leaders that have elevated me and my organizations at every phase of my career, and if I was that kind of person I would never have had any success,” Yang said on “The View.”
In a statement to ABC News, Yang elaborated on the matter.
“As a CEO I made decisions about hiring and firing singularly based on performance. Kimberly Watkins’ facts about her break from Manhattan Prep are inaccurate,” Yang said in the statement. “During my more than a decade as CEO, I have worked with many women, married and otherwise, and value their work and dedication as important to the success of any institution. If I were the kind of leader who would do the sort of thing described by Ms. Watkins I would never enjoy a whiff of success. Women leaders are vital to any company or organization and I have been very fortunate and grateful to have worked with many of them in my career.”
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang on the "The View," Sept. 26, 2019.
Yang’s campaign has been on an upward trajectory over the past several months, even outlasting sitting members of Congress and former governors also in the 2020 race, surpassing fundraising and polling thresholds needed to qualify for four presidential debates.
“I think we’re doing so well Meghan because we’re talking about problems that Americans see around them every day. The fact that 30% of our stores and malls are closing because of Amazon and Amazon’s paying zero and taxes in return. And when I say that to the Americans around the country, they see it around them,” Yang told the hosts. And the fact that we can build an economy that works for us, that vision will help address the problems that got Donald Trump elected in the first place.”
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Democratic presidential candidate and entrepreneur Andrew Yang makes a guest appearance on ABC’s "The View," July 8, 2019.
Yang, like many other candidates, has been drumming up fundraising efforts in light of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement on Tuesday that the House Democrats would move forward with a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Yang spoke in favor of the impeachment process for the first time.
“Given the President’s latest actions I think impeachment is the right path forward. Asking foreign leaders for political help in return for aid and then suppressing your own agency’s inquiry is egregious,” the tweet said. “There have to be limits and Congress is right to act.”
Yang told the hosts that he’s fully on board with impeachment, though he understands the repercussions it could have on the Democratic party.
“I do think the politics may or may not work out in the right way. But we’re a country of laws, you have to enforce the laws,” he said.
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Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks with supporters during a rally in Cambridge, Mass., Sept. 16, 2019.
During the grand opening of his campaign office in West Des Moines, Iowa last weekend, Yang touted the growth of his campaign and hinted that his third-quarter fundraising would be double that of the $2.8 million he raised in the second quarter.
Yang has now campaigned his way to three debate stages, promoting his universal basic income policy he calls the “Freedom Dividend”, which would give $1,000 a month to every American citizen over the age of 18. So far, the campaign has given money to at least 10 recipients.
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“It’s time to trust ourselves more than our politicians,” Yang said during the debate.
Some campaign finance experts have questioned the legality of such a giveaway. Yang’s campaign said in a statement that it had consulted with its counsel and that the Freedom Dividends were “fully compliant with all FEC regulations.”