Lucy Flores, Who Accused Joe Biden Of Unwanted Kiss, Comes Under Scrutiny For Connection To Bernie Sanders

Lucy Flores and Joe Biden appear at a political rally together.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Lucy Flores came forward this week to accuse former Vice President Joe Biden of an unwanted kiss in an awkward incident from 2014, but now the Democrat from Nevada is coming under scrutiny for her own ties to a potential opponent of Biden.

Flores recounted the incident in which she claimed Biden made an unwanted advance at a 2014 campaign rally in Nevada, smelling her hair and kissing the back of her head. Lucy Flores wrote about the allegations in The Cut, describing in detail the uncomfortable exchange with Biden.

“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified,” Flores wrote.

She added that Biden then kissed her on the back of the head without her consent.

Her story led to a round of criticism for Joe Biden and calls for the former vice president to address the allegations ahead of his likely entrance into the 2020 Democratic primary. But supporters of Biden are also turning the scrutiny back on Flores, and have questioned her motivations for coming forward.

In her essay, Flores described her close connection to Bernie Sanders and his political team. Flores had endorsed Sanders during the 2016 Democratic primary and saw quite a benefit from it. As the Associated Press reported that year, Flores reported a fundraising windfall after Sanders asked his supporters to support her campaign. She was able to raise more than $428,000 in the first few weeks of April after Sanders urged his supporters to make a $2.70 donation split between his campaign and the one run by Flores for her congressional race.

After Lucy Flores came forward to recount the incident with Biden, some accused her of timing her announcement to affect Biden’s chances of winning the Democratic primary. Biden has been the leader on many early polls, despite not yet formally announcing whether he will run or not.

Many of the candidates already in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination have been asked about Flores’ allegations. At a recent political event, Elizabeth Warren said that she believes Flores, and Sanders said the decision is up to Biden as to whether the allegation would disqualify him from running.

Joe Biden made a short statement saying he did not recall the incident described by Lucy Flores. The former vice president has not yet announced whether he intends to run for the Democratic nomination, but political experts believe he has made preparations to run and is waiting to make an announcement.