#MeToo: Second Woman Accuses Joe Biden of Inappropriate Touching
Former Vice-President Joe Biden is being accused of inappropriate touching for second time in just three days, as the leading Democrat mulls a White House bid.
The second woman, Amy Lappos, said Joe Biden had touched her face with both hands and rubbed noses with her a decade ago.
The allegation comes after another woman, Lucy Flores, said on March 29 that Joe Biden kissed her on the back of her head at a campaign event.
Joe Biden has said he did not believe he has ever acted inappropriately.
The former Delaware senator, who served as President Barack Obama’s vice-president between 2009 and 2017, is seen as a possible front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Amy Lappos, a 43-year-old former aide to a Democratic congressman, said Joe Biden touched her inappropriately at a fundraiser in a private home in Hartford, Connecticut, in 2009.
The woman told Hartford Courant the then vice-president entered the kitchen to thank a group of aides, before wrapping both hands around her face and pulling her in to rub noses with her.
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Amy Lappos called on Joe Biden not to run for the White House, saying: “Uninvited affection is not okay. Objectifying women is not okay.”
Lucy Flores was running as the Democratic candidate for Nevada’s lieutenant governor in 2014 when Joe Biden flew in to support her bid.
As she prepared to go on stage, Joe Biden placed two hands on her shoulders from behind, smelled her hair then planted “a big slow kiss on the back of my head”.
Asked about the new allegation, a spokesman for Joe Biden referred reporters to a statement he issued on March 31.
The statement read: “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.”
“But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will,” it added.
Joe Biden and Barack Obama were known for their close friendship, often seen playing golf and attending sports events together. Joe Biden even said that Barack Obama offered him financial help when his son was ill.
For his vice president’s birthday in 2017, Barack Obama posted a photo of the two of them on Twitter, writing that Joe Biden was his “brother and the best vice president anybody could have”.
On April, a spokesman for Joe Biden also accused “right wing trolls” of presenting harmless images of the former vice president interacting with women over the years as evidence of inappropriate touching.
A number of candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination have backed Lucy Flores.
Senator Elizabeth Warren said Joe Biden “needs to give an answer”, and Senator Amy Klobuchar said that in politics “people raise issues and they have to address them”.
Some supporters though have defended him. Cynthia Hogan, a former aide to the vice-president, told the New York Times that Joe Biden “treated us with respect and insisted that others do the same”. An ally of Joe Biden told CNN he was not reconsidering a run for the White House following the allegations but stressed he was yet to make a decision.