Flores: Biden Encounter Was A Personal Space Issue, Not Sexual Harassment

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks during a get-out-the-vote rally at the Springs Preserve on October 28, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Clinton is stumping for Nevada Democrats one week before the November 4th election.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America

Former Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Nevada Lucy Flores told MSNBC on Sunday that while she felt violated by an unexpected kiss from former Vice President Joe Biden, she considered the incident to be a personal space issue and not sexual harassment or assault.

“For the record, I don’t believe that it was a bad intention. I’m not in any way suggesting that I felt sexually assaulted or sexually harassed. I felt invaded. I felt there was a violation of my personal space,” she said. “And it’s been dismissed as if it’s just Biden being Biden. Boys will be boys. No big deal. It is a big deal.”

Flores told Politico that she’s seen plenty of pictures and videos of Biden doing to women what he had done to her, calling it “triggering.”

“When I started to see pictures of him behaving in the same way he did with me and with other women, it was very triggering,” she said. “I felt so much empathy for them. I knew what they were going through. I had been in their shoes.”

Flores came forward over the weekend alleging that in 2014 Biden approached her from behind, smelled her hair and kissed the back of her head without her consent. She said she came forward partially for political reasons.

Biden released a statement Sunday saying he never believed he acted inappropriately, but was willing to listen.

“(I) 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.

“I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear,” he added. “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.”

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