Former Vice President Joe Biden is now responding to claims he behaved inappropriately with a Nevada politician.
Lucy Flores, the former Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Nevada, had described an encounter she had with Biden in an essay published on The Cut on Friday. She said Biden made her feel “uneasy, gross and confused,” claimed he kissed her on the back of the head and smelled her hair during a 2014 campaign rally.
"Very unexpectedly and out of nowhere, I feel Joe Biden put his hands on my shoulders, get up very close to me from behind, lean in, smell my hair and then plant a slow kiss on the top of my head," Flores said. "And also, what in the actual f***? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?"
She continued: "He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused, There is a Spanish saying, “tragame tierra,” it means, “earth, swallow me whole.” I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me. My name was called and I was never happier to get on stage in front of an audience."
"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," Flores wrote.
Biden responded Sunday to the claims in a lengthy statement, saying, "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."
The statement was shared on social media by his spokesman, Bill Russo.
"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, and men should pay attention. And I will,” Biden continued.
Biden also went on to say that he will remain a strong advocate for women’s rights "and ensure women are treated with the equality they deserve.”
In response to Biden's statement, Flores said she was glad he was willing to listen and glad he is clarifying his intentions, according to CNN.
Biden is expected to announce his decision on whether he’ll run for president in 2020 as soon as next month.