15:52 GMT24 February 2020
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    Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing a crisis before the launch of his expected bid for the White House after a second woman on Monday accused him of inappropriate touching.

    Amy Lappos became the second woman in four days to accuse Biden of inappropriate behaviour when she told the Hartford Courant that Biden had touched her inappropriately and rubbed noses with her during a 2009 fundraiser in Greenwich, Conn, the Hill reported.

    “When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth,” Lappos, 43, told the Courant.

    Earlier on Friday, former Nevada state legislator and Democratic party member, Lucy Flores accused Biden of inappropriately kissing the back of her head while putting his hands on her shoulders when she was a candidate for lieutenant governor of the state.

    The stories were accompanied with dozens of pictures that show Biden hugging and embracing different women, which were previously presented during Biden’s vice presidency.

    READ MORE: Twitter Explodes After Joe Biden Rejects Allegations of Inappropriate Behaviour

    Biden’s staff on Monday pushed back hard against the narrative, describing it as a “cottage industry of lies”. Biden spokesman Bill Russo highlighted two photos that have been used against the vice president misleadingly — one of Biden and Stephanie Carter, who is married to former Defence secretary Ash Carter, and the other of Biden with the 13-year-old daughter of Sen. Christopher Coons.

    Coons, who filled Biden’s long-held Senate seat in 2010, in an interview with the Washington Post, said Biden was praising his daughter’s composure in a photo that showed him whispering in her ear.

    “She did not think of it as anything,” Coons said. “All three of my kids have known Joe their whole lives.”

    Stephanie Carter also came to Biden’s defence, saying the photo of her with Biden’s hands on her shoulders was “misleadingly extracted” from a longer moment at her husband’s swearing-in ceremony.  

    However, other Democratic candidates reacted with harsh criticism of the former vice president. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said “this is something he’s going to have to address directly with the American people” if he decides to run for the presidency. Rep. Ro Khanna, an adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, told reporters that the allegations against Biden are serious.

    One senior Democrat on another presidential campaign cited by the Hill said the “creepy Biden” storyline has the potential to do long-term damage to the former vice president.

    “If Biden’s chief argument is electability, this story eats right at that foundation,” the Democrat said. “Women are a solid majority of Democratic primary voters, and now Biden is going to have to pass a ‘creepy’ test.”


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