Biden on accusations: I have never intentionally acted ‘inappropriately’

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Joe Biden on Sunday said he does not believe he has “acted inappropriately,” but “if it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully.”

The former vice president and likely 2020 Democratic presidential candidate is facing accusations that he kissed a woman’s head without consent in 2014. Former Nevada state assemblywoman Lucy Flores made the accusation in an op-ed on Friday.

“I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear,” Biden said in a new statement released by his spokesman on Twitter. “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.”

{mosads}The new statement builds on Biden’s initial reaction to Flores’s accusations, when he said he did not recall the incident she described but supported her right to speak about it.

According to Flores, at a campaign rally supporting her bid for lieutenant governor in Nevada while Biden was vice president, he came up to her from behind, put his hands on her shoulders, inhaled her hair and kissed her on the back of her head.

“The vice-president of the United States of America had just touched me in an intimate way reserved for close friends, family, or romantic partners — and I felt powerless to do anything about it,” she wrote.

Biden on Sunday said in his “many” years 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,” he said.

He added that he is an advocate for the rights of women and willing to be challenged “to see different perspectives than my own.”

“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,” he said. “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.”

Read more from The Hill:

Biden accuser Flores: ‘I want him to acknowledge that it was wrong’

Event organizer: Biden, accuser were never alone together

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