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Joe Biden Responds to Flores Allegation: ‘I May Not Recall These Moments the Same Way’

February 2019: Former U.S Vice president Joe Biden speaks at the University of Pennsylvania’s Irvine Auditorium February 19, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Biden joined Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, in discussing global affairs and other topical subjects, and concluding with questions from the audience.

Former Vice President Joe Biden released a statement on Sunday morning about the allegation from former Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores that he kissed and touched her inappropriately at an event in 2014.

Biden, who is all but officially a contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, released his response as a statement just minutes before Flores was set to appear on CNN’s State of the Union. In it, he says he never thought he was acting inappropriately and that he never intended to.

Flores says that at the 2015 event, Biden leaned in intimately from behind her, smelled her hair, and kissed her on the head, despite the fact that they had no prior relationship or acquaintance.

“My brain couldn’t process what was happening,” she wrote at New York magazine’s The Cut of the incident. “I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused.”

Biden first responded through a spokesperson on Friday before issuing his own response as Flores was about to go on air.

The statement was broadly addressed, not just directed to Flores:

“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. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.

“I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear. But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, an men should pay attention. And I will.

“I will also remain the strongest advocate I can be for the rights of women. I will fight to build on the work I’ve done in my career to end violence against women and ensure women are treated with the equality they deserve. I will continue to surround myself with trusted women advisers who challenge me to see different perspectives than my own. And I will continue to speak out on these vitally-important issues where there is much more progress to be made and crucial fights that must be waged and won.”

[Featured photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images]

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