Two more women have come forward with accusations of inappropriate touching against former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to The New York Times -- which curiously described Biden's behavior as a “tactile style of retail politicking” and Biden himself as “an old school backslapper” in its Tuesday article about the newest allegations -- two more women came forward to the newspaper with stories involving inappropriate touching.
The first, “Caitlyn Caruso, a former college student and sexual assault survivor, said Mr. Biden rested his hand on her thigh — even as she squirmed in her seat to show her discomfort — and hugged her ‘just a little bit too long’ at an event on sexual assault at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. She was 19,” reports The Times.
“Ms. Caruso, now 22, said she chalked up the encounter at the time to how men act, and did not say anything publicly,” The Times continues. “But she said it was particularly uncomfortable because she had just shared her own story of sexual assault and had expected Mr. Biden — an architect of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act — to understand the importance of physical boundaries.”
The next woman, 59-year-old writer D.J. Hill, told The Times that at a fundraising event in 2012 her husband witnessed Biden “put his hand on her shoulder and then started dropping it down her back, which made her ‘very uncomfortable.’”
“Her husband, seeing the movement, put his hand on Mr. Biden’s shoulder and interrupted with a joke,” writes The Times. “Ms. Hill did not say anything at the time and acknowledged that she does not know what Mr. Biden’s intention was or whether he was aware of her [discomfort].
“‘Only he knows his intent,’ she said. But norms are changing now, she said, and ‘if something makes you feel uncomfortable, you have to feel able to say it.’”
The two new accusations against the Vice President bring the total to four. The first to come forward, former Nevada State Sen. Lucy Flores, wrote in a story published on The Cut on Friday that Biden at a 2014 campaign rally made her feel “uneasy, gross and confused.” She claims that Biden approached her from behind, smelled her hair, and “proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head.”
The second to come forward, Amy Lappos, a former aide to Rep. Jime Himes (D-Conn.), told the Hartford Courant in an interview published Monday that she had an uncomfortable encounter with Biden at a 2009 political fundraiser, where she claims Biden grabbed her by the head and pulled her in with his hand around her neck to rub noses, as if he were about to kiss her.
Biden responded to Flores’ allegation in a statement on Friday, saying that “not once” does he believe he “acted inappropriately” during his “many years on the campaign trail and in public life,” but that “if it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully.”
“But it was never my intention,” his statement reads.
His team denies the first two allegations and has made it clear that Biden has every intention to move forward with plans for a possible 2020 presidential run, CNN reports.
According to Fox News, “Biden's team had no immediate comment on the latest allegations.”