The Biden Problem: A List of Eight Women
To date, eight women have come forward with complaints about Joe Biden touching them inappropriately or otherwise making them feel uncomfortable.
Tara Reade is the only one to accuse him of sexual assault. In a criminal complaint filed last month, Reade explains how Biden shoved her up a wall and violated her with his fingers. The incident occurred in 1993, when Reade was working as a staff assistant in Biden’s senate office.
Reade has complained of several other incidents when Biden put his hands on her shoulders and neck and says she was fired after she spoke about his behavior to US Senate personnel.
Ally Coll, 2008
Coll spoke with the Washington Post about an incident with then-Senator Biden at a reception in 2008. Biden greeted Coll by squeezing her shoulders and complimenting her smile and then hugged her “for a beat too long,” says Coll.
“There’s been a lack of understanding about the way that power can turn something that might seem innocuous into something that can make somebody feel uncomfortable.”
Amy Lappos, 2009
Amy Lappos encountered Biden at a political fundraiser while she was working as a congressional aide for Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT). Lappos claims Biden grabbed her by the head and rubbed his nose against hers.
“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” says Lappos. “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.”
Lappos says she didn’t file a complaint because Biden was the Vice President and she was “a nobody.”
DJ Hill, 2012
DJ Hill, a writer, spoke with the NY Times about an uncomfortable experience she had with Biden at a 2012 meet-and-greet in Minneapolis.
Hill was posing for a picture alongside Biden and her husband after the pair had waited in line for a chance to meet the Vice President. “As the photographer was…getting ready to take the shot, I felt – and my husband noticed – that Mr. Biden’s hand, that had been on my shoulder, slowly disappeared and did a…slow descent down my back until he reached my waist,” recalls Hill.
Hill says she was “shocked” that the Vice President would act in such a way. “I was very happy when the experience was over.”
Vail Kohnert-Yount, 2013
Kohnert-Yount spoke with the Washington Post about an encounter similar to that experienced by Lappos. In 2013, when Kohnert-Yount was a White House intern, Biden put his hand on the back of her head and pressed his forehead to hers before describing her as a “pretty girl.”
His behavior was not sexual, says Kohnert-Yount, but it’s “the kind of inappropriate behavior that makes many women feel uncomfortable and unequal in the workplace.”
Lucy Flores, 2014
Lucy Flores met Mr. Biden at a campaign event in March 2014 while she was running for Lieutenant Governor of Nevada. In an essay she wrote about the incident, Flores claims Biden smelled her hair and kissed the back of her head.
“I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me,” she wrote.
Caitlyn Caruso, 2016
Caruso met Biden at the University of Nevada after sharing the story of her sexual assault.
In Caruso’s words, Biden embraced her “just a little bit too long” and put his hand on her thigh. “It doesn’t even really cross your mind that such a person would dare perpetrate harm like that,” she told the NY Times. “These are supposed to be people you can trust.”
Sofie Karasek, 2016
Another sexual assault survivor, Karasek met Biden at the Oscars. The two posed for a photo alongside 50 other survivors during a performance by Lady Gaga. In the photo, Biden and Karasek are holding hands and touching foreheads.
Karasek, who says Biden violated her personal space, has criticized him for his response to the allegations against him.
“He emphasized that he wants to connect with people and, of course, that’s important,” says Karasek. “But again, all of our interactions and friendships are a two-way street…Too often it doesn’t matter how the woman feels about it or they just assume that they’re fine with it.”
While Biden has acknowledged that he tends to touch people more often than necessary, he has been hesitant to apologize because he does not believe his behavior to be inappropriate. He has promised to be “more mindful” in the future.
Tara Reade’s accusations – which Biden ignored for weeks – may turn out to be a major issue for his presidential campaign. Last week, the NY Times turned on the presumptive nominee with an article demanding the DNC investigate.
“The question at hand is no less than Biden’s fitness for the presidency,” wrote the NY Times Editorial Board. “Americans deserve to know more about a sexual assault against the likely Democratic Party nominee.”
Editor’s Note: Some of these incidents appear trivial but, as with the attacks on Trump, they are corroborating evidence to the main charge of assault by Reade. Watch for the conservative media to slow play it so that it lasts much of the campaign season.
A new NY Times editorial has actually called for him to step down. But that won’t happen.
It may very well happen that he is removed by some other means (remember, Hillary is still out there!), and others step up. We won’t know until it happens…