“Seriously????? You admit it wasn’t sexual and yet you feel the need to slander his reputation?”
More unwanted contact allegations against Vice President Joe Biden emerged Tuesday as two more women came forward to accuse him of inappropriately touching them, bringing the total number of women accusing Biden to four.
Cailtyn Caruso told The New York Times he hugged her for an uncomfortably long time and put his hand on her thigh, even though she squirmed in her seat to communicate her discomfort, at a sexual harassment event in Las Vegas. “It doesn’t even really cross your mind that such a person would dare perpetuate harm like that,” Caruso said. “These are supposed to be people you can trust.”
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Biden’s other new accuser is 59-year-old D. J. Hill, who told The Times that her husband intervened after Biden put his hand on her shoulder and started sliding it down her back when the couple was taking a picture with the former vice president. “Only he knows his intent,” she told The Times.
The women’s allegations come after former politician Lucy Flores spoke out last week about a non-consensual encounter with former Vice President Joe Biden that she claims occurred at a campaign rally in 2014. 39-year-old Flores, a former Nevada assemblywoman, said that Biden put both of his hands on her shoulders from behind, leaned in to inhale her hair and planted “a big slow kiss” on the back of her head.
Amy Lappos told the Hartford Courant on Monday that Biden grabbed her by the head, put his hand around her neck and pulled her in to “rub noses” with her. “When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth,” she said. On Sunday, Lappos detailed her story in a post on the Connecticut Women in Politics Facebook page. Several commenters on the page were outraged that she decided to speak out, accusing her of “slander.”
“Woww Here we go with this Bull Crap Once…Again Why don’t we All Just Line up and Pick Someone that Touched us in any Way Shape or Form Omg American Nightmare,” wrote one woman. “Seriously????? You admit it wasn’t sexual and yet you feel the need to slander his reputation?” one female commenter said before revealing Lappos’ behavior had led her to question the #MeToo movement.
The commenters’ reluctance to condemn Biden echoes a broader phenomenon among liberals and Democrats who are having trouble squaring the accusations with their perception of him as affable, grandfatherly politician.
Liberal actress Alyssa Milano announced Monday in a series of controversial tweets that she was standing by the former vice president, citing Biden’s record of championing women’s issues.
I am proud to call Joe Biden a friend. He has been a leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years, and I have been fortunate to accompany him to events with survivors where he has listened to their stories, empathized with them, and comforted them. pic.twitter.com/cI0jsKlu3P
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 2, 2019
“I respect Lucy Flores’ decision to share her story and agree with Biden that we all must pay attention to it. But, just as we must believe women that decide to come forward, we cannot assume all women’s experiences are the same,” Milano wrote.
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Some commenters accused Milano, a fervent proponent of the #MeToo movement and its attendant exhortation to “believe women” when they speak out about being victimized, of hypocrisy in light of her reaction to Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh last year.
Although the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh were unsubstantiated, Milano opposed his nomination to the Supreme Court and became a fierce advocate for Ford. “I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford,” she tweeted to her millions of followers from inside the Senate hearing where Ford testified that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.
“I thought it was important to stand in solidarity with Dr. Ford and all women and men who have been victims of crazy abuses of power,” Milano told CNN in October. “And I felt blessed to be able to do that and to be there, no matter how stoic I had to be and sort of prevent myself from, you know, rolling my eyes. I just had to sit there and be stoic, and that was difficult. It was definitely an exercise in how to constrain and restrain yourself.”
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