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'He did grab me by the head': Second woman accuses Joe Biden of inappropriate touching

Biden’s spokesperson has lashed out at the “smears” the ex-Vice President faces.

Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

JOE BIDEN’S SPOKESPERSON has lashed out at “smears” he said the former US Vice-President faces as a second woman has accused him of inappropriate touching.

Two women in the past week have now gone public to recount how Biden allegedly inappropriately touched them years ago.

With that, scrutiny on his history of unwanted contact has surged as he considers a presidential campaign.

Biden’s spokesperson pointed to doctored or misleading photos that have circulated the internet for years spotlighting what the 76-year-old Democrat himself describes as a “tactile” campaign style.

“These smears and forgeries have existed in the dark recesses of the internet for a while,” Biden’s spokesman said in a statement, referring to images that show Biden being overly familiar with women and children.

And to this day, right-wing trolls and others continue to exploit them.

‘It wasn’t sexual’

The push back comes as Connecticut woman Amy Lappos said he inappropriately touched her at a 2009 political fundraiser when he was vice president.

“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” she told Connecticut’s Hartford Courant newspaper. 

He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth.

Lappos (43) said she never filed a complaint because she believed it would go nowhere.

However, she said she was aware of the line of decency and respect that should have been honoured.

“Crossing that line is not grandfatherly,” she said.

It’s not cultural. It’s not affection. It’s sexism or misogyny.

The fresh allegation comes as former Nevada state lawmaker Lucy Flores last week accused Biden of planting a “big, slow kiss” on the back of her head as she waited to take the stage at a campaign rally five years ago.

She recalled being “mortified” over the incident.

Biden issued a statement on Sunday saying he would respectfully listen to women who accused him of misconduct. 

However, he added that in his decades of public life, “not once – never – did I believe I acted inappropriately”.

Biden has had a reputation for awkwardly touching the wives, mothers or daughters of senators during swearing-in ceremonies. 

He came under criticism for massaging the shoulders of Ash Carter’s wife in 2015 as her husband was sworn in as Secretary of Defense.

Photographs of that incident have circulated online so frequently that Stephanie Carter posted a column on Sunday saying Biden was merely “a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful”.

Biden has yet to declare his candidacy in the 2020 presidential race. However, he is already the early favorite to win the Democratic nomination and challenge Donald Trump.

Includes reporting by © AFP 2019

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