Wife of Obama Defense secretary calls photo of her with Biden misleading

The wife of former Defense Secretary Ash Carter denied then-Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump Cruz urges Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania election challenge MORE made her uncomfortable in a viral photo that showed Biden with his hands on her shoulders.

In a Medium post published Sunday evening, Stephanie Carter wrote that the 2015 image was “misleadingly extracted” from its proper context.


The picture, which depicts a moment at Carter’s swearing-in ceremony, has frequently been used to suggest Biden, who is considering a run for president, has a history of violating women’s boundaries. Carter's post also comes amid recently published allegations by former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores that Biden sniffed her hair and kissed her on the back of the head in 2014 in a “violation of my bodily autonomy.”

In the post, Carter describes the moments leading up to the photo, during which she writes she had slipped on ice shortly before and was feeling more self-conscious than she would otherwise.

“After the swearing in, as Ash was giving remarks, [Biden] leaned in to tell me ‘thank you for letting him do this’ and kept his hands on my shoulders as a means of offering his support,” Carter wrote. “But a still shot taken from a video — misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends — sent out in a snarky tweet — came to be the lasting image of that day.”

“I won’t pretend that this will be the last of that picture, but it will be the last of other people speaking for me,” Carter writes.

Biden has not yet made a decision on a presidential run, but most early polls have shown him leading the field, with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDeVos knocks free college push as 'socialist takeover of higher education' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Giuliani denies discussing preemptive pardon with Trump Manchin: Ocasio-Cortez 'more active on Twitter than anything else' MORE (I-Vt.) usually in second place. Several Democratic candidates have responded to Flores’s allegations, with both Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOn The Money: McConnell offering new coronavirus relief bill | Biden introduces economic team, vows swift action on relief | Rare Mnuchin-Powell spat takes center stage at COVID-19 hearing Biden introduces economic team, vows swift action on struggling economy Louisville mayor declares racism a public health crisis MORE (D-Mass.) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro both expressing support for her.