Nevada politician Lucy Flores clarified her encounter with Joe Biden on Sunday while speaking with Kasie Hunt on MSNBC. Rather than sexual harassment, as some people have characterized the incident, Flores says that his behavior was an invasion of her personal space.
“It is an invasion of my personal space. It is a clear invasion of my bodily autonomy to not be touched, unless I give you permission to touch it,” she said.
The story emerged when Flores initially wrote an op-ed on Friday for The Cut titled “An Awkward Kiss Changed How I Saw Joe Biden.” In it, she describes an encounter that she had with the former vice president in 2014 in which he placed his hands on her shoulders, inhaled the scent of her hair and planted a kiss on her head.
She says that she was shocked, embarrassed, and confused by the encounter, and called it an abuse of his position of power.
Biden faced an immediate backlash from people like Senator Elizabeth Warren, Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, and Senator Amy Klobuchar, all individuals running for president in 2020.
Biden responded to the allegations on Sunday, according to CNN.
“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort,” Biden said. “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 also reiterated that he was a staunch advocate for women’s rights and said that his record shows that he has fought to help women.
Biden’s spokespeople echoed this statement, saying that Biden believes Flores has the right to share her story, but that the former vice president doesn’t recall the incident like that and that no one at the time realized that Flores was uncomfortable.
It isn’t the first time that Biden has made women uncomfortable. Critics call Biden “Creepy Uncle Joe,” and Kellyanne Conway suggested on Sunday that people Google the numerous videos of the politician behaving badly, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
Henry Muñoz, co-founder of Latino Victory Project, said that he didn’t recall Flores and Biden ever being alone. In response, Flores said that she never claimed they were alone when the incident took place. She also called for Biden to admit that his behavior was wrong.