According to a new report, members of Joe Biden’s camp believe that Bernie Sanders’ team is at least partly responsible for the flood of accusations of “inappropriate touching” by “Creepy Joe” — and it’s “firing up” the former vice president, who’s “ready to kill Bernie.”
“Joe Biden advisers believe coverage of allegations of inappropriate behavior is being stoked by rival Democrats — a dynamic that could actually fire up the vice president at a time when others see success as increasingly improbable,” Axios reported Tuesday. “Several around Biden think advisers to Bernie Sanders are at least partly behind the anti-Biden campaign. One prominent backer thinks Biden will run, and ‘is ready to kill Bernie.'”
“VP directed staff this evening to reach out to supporters and donors with a simple message — full steam ahead,” a member of Biden’s team told Axios’ Mike Allen in a text Monday night.
The reported blow-up between Team Biden and Team Bernie follows multiple accusations of “inappropriate touching” against Biden, the first of which was published by The Cut on Friday. The alleged victim, former Nevada State Sen. Lucy Flores, is a former board member on a Sanders PAC.
“I found my way to the holding room for the speakers, where everyone was chatting, taking photos, and getting ready to speak to the hundreds of voters in the audience,” Flores states. “Just before the speeches, we were ushered to the side of the stage where we were lined up by order of introduction. As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. ‘Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?’ I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual f***? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?’ 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. … 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.”
On Monday, another woman, a former congressional aide, came forward to describe a similar encounter with Biden back in 2009. She first made the claim in a Facebook post under a pseudonym, writing, “Biden did something similar to me at a fundraiser in Greenwich when I was a Congressional Aide. I’m really disappointed to see this post ask ‘thoughts’ as if the grossness of men invading women’s boundaries to sniff and touch is is debatable. And shame on some of the women here excusing this as boys being boys or it’s not as bad as Trump. I can speak from experience when I say it’s an incredibly uncomfortable situation and not at all acceptable. We need to hold our men to the same standards we hold all men.”
The accuser, Amy Lappos, told her full story to The Hartford Courant, which published her account Monday. “It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” Lappos told the paper. “He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth. I never filed a complaint, to be honest, because he was the vice president. I was a nobody. There’s absolutely a line of decency. There’s a line of respect. Crossing that line is not grandfatherly. It’s not cultural. It’s not affection. It’s sexism or misogyny.”
“If Biden truly supports women and gender equality he would step aside and support one of the many talented and qualified women running,” said Lappos.