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Sanders not sure that 'one incident alone' disqualifies Biden

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Inequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift In defense of incrementalism: A call for radical realism MORE (I-Vt.) said Sunday that he's "not sure that one incident alone" disqualifies Joe BidenJoe BidenPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Biden transition adds new members to coronavirus task force MORE from running for president after former Nevada state assemblywoman Lucy Flores (D) accused the former vice president of inappropriately touching and kissing her without her consent in 2014.

“That’s a decision for the vice president to make," Sanders, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said on CBS's "Face the Nation" when asked if the allegation disqualifies Biden. "I’m not sure that one incident alone disqualifies anybody."

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Sanders added that he has "no reason not to believe" Flores, who said in an essay published Friday in New York Magazine's The Cut that Biden touched her shoulders and kissed the back of her head before a Nevada campaign rally.

“I have no reason not to believe Lucy," the Vermont senator said on Sunday. "And I think what this speaks to is the need to fundamentally change the culture of this country and to create environments feel comfortable and feel safe.”

Biden, who is expected to announce his own White House bid in the coming weeks, said in a statement Sunday that he has "offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort" while on the campaign trail and in public life.

"And not once - never - did I believe I acted inappropriately," Biden added. "If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention."

Flores said Sunday during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" that she wants Biden "to acknowledge this was wrong."

"If he is saying he never believed that was inappropriate, then frankly I believe that's a little bit of a disconnection. And ... a sense of not being aware," she said.

"I want him to change his behavior and I want him to acknowledge this was wrong," Flores added.