Long before Amy Klobuchar stepped onto the national stage, she was a kid from Plymouth, Minn. Based on interviews and emails reviewed by BuzzFeed, Klobuchar "demeaned and berated her staff nearly daily, subjecting them to bouts of explosive rage and regular humiliation within the office". One such incident resulted in Klobuchar hurling a binder at a staffer, who believes the senator did not mean to hit them.
"I cried. I cried, like, all the time", one former staffer said. Klobuchar, in the emails, which were mostly sent over the past few years, referred to her staff's work as "the worst in ... years", and "the worst in my life".
Other staffers claimed she humiliated and tormented them, often exploding with rage at her subordinates and throwing physical tantrums.
When staffers made mistakes, the emails show, she reamed them out - and sometimes, emails show, threatened to fire them - over threads that included many of their colleagues.
Klobuchar, a Democrat who plans to announce whether she's running for president at a rally in Minneapolis on Sunday, has faced trouble hiring campaign aides because of her history of mistreating staff.
"I've always been taught that your true character shows in how you treat those with less power than you, especially behind closed doors", another former staffer told BuzzFeed News.
"Senator Klobuchar loves her staff - they are the reason she has gotten to where she is today".
"The way Sen. Klobuchar behaves in private with her staff is very different than when she's in the public eye, and that kind of cruelty shouldn't be acceptable for anyone", the staffer said.