Lucy Flores, the former Nevada assemblywoman who accused former vice president Joe Biden of inappropriately touching her and kissing the back of her head, appeared on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday morning to talk about what happened and why she came forward.
She began the interview by describing in detail what she alleges happened backstage at a campaign event with Biden when she was running for lieutenant governor of the state of Nevada in 2014: “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. That, in and of itself, might not sound like it’s a very serious thing. That… might sound like it was innocent and well-intentioned. But in the context of it, as a person who had absolutely no relationship with him afterwards, as a candidate who was preparing my case as to why I should be elected the second in command of that state, to have the vice president of the United States do that to me so unexpectedly and just kind of out of nowhere, it was just shocking.”
Flores continued, “It was shocking because you don’t expect that kind of intimate behavior, you don’t expect that kind of intimacy from someone so powerful and someone you have no relationship whatsoever to touch you and to feel you and to be so close to you in that way. So I frankly just didn’t even know how to react. I was just shocked, I felt powerless, I felt like I couldn’t move, I just didn’t know how to process it.”
Explaining why Flores chose not to make her allegations public at the time, she said that she didn’t know who to go to. “You just kind of process it and then you move on, because you have a job to do… There just isn’t a mechanism to deal with it,” she said, explaining that even if she wanted to come forward, she didn’t know who she could tell. “I felt powerless,” she said. “Frankly, what do you say? Who do you tell?”
Biden released a statement through a spokesperson on Sunday in response to Flores’ accusation, saying, in part: “In 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.” Biden’s statement, however, did not include an apology.
— Bill Russo (@BillR) March 31, 2019
And, Cynthia Hogan, a former senior staffer who worked for Biden in both the Senate and the White House, issued a statement of her own, saying that Biden “treated us with respect and insisted that others do the same.” But, of course, we all know by now that just because a man doesn’t behave inappropriately around one woman does not mean he hasn’t behaved inappropriately around other women.
Some Democratic presidential candidates were also asked about the allegations in their appearances on the Sunday shows. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said she had “no reason not to believe” Flores, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said he didn’t think “one incident alone disqualifies anybody,” and that voters should decide.
As for Flores, she told CNN’s Jake Tapper she felt Biden’s actions were disqualifying for her, and she had some advice for the former VP: “You should probably keep your hands to yourself.”