Former US Vice President Joe Biden has, for the first time, responded to a female Nevada activist's Friday allegations that he behaved inappropriately in a 2014 incident, ONAreports citing Sputnik.
“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention,” he said in a statement on Sunday. Earlier, the only statements made were issued by his spokesman.
Biden promised to remain “the strongest advocate” for the rights of women, vowing that he “will fight to build on the work I've done in my career to end violence against women and ensure women are treated with the equality they deserve”.
“I will continue to surround myself with trusted women advisers who challenge me to see different perspectives than my own. And I will continue to speak out on these vitally-important issues where there is much more progress to be made and crucial fights that must be waged and won,” he concluded.
In an initial statement, Biden’s spokesman Bill Russo said he does not recall the incident in 2014 when a female activist claimed Biden inappropriately kissed her.
“But Vice President Biden believes that Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it is a change for the better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so,” Russo pointed out.
The statement came after Lucy Flores, the former Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Nevada, claimed in an essay for The Cut, a New York magazine publication, that Biden made her feel “uneasy, gross, and confused” during a 2014 campaign rally in Nevada, when he allegedly kissed her on the back of the head.
Flores also claimed that Biden touched her shoulders and smelled her hair when they appeared at the 2014 event together, making her feel uncomfortable.
Twitter users have, meanwhile, remained at loggerheads over the issue, with some arguing that Flores’ accusations are “ridiculous” and “deserve no coverage”.