- People close to former Vice President Joe Biden say they are suspicious that Bernie Sanders is involved in the accusations that he inappropriately touched multiple women, according to a report.
- Biden is still moving forward with the launch of a 2020 presidential campaign.
- One supporter of Biden said the former vice president is ready to “kill Bernie” if he jumps in the race.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s inner circle is reportedly stewing over the surge of accusations that the prospective 2020 presidential candidate inappropriately touched multiple women and think Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ team could be behind the renewed focus.
Axios reported on Tuesday that several people close to Biden are suspicious that the Sanders camp is “at least partly behind the anti-Biden campaign.”
Biden has been the subject of controversy in recent days after a former Nevada state assemblywoman wrote an op-ed accusing him of touching her inappropriately and kissing her head during a 2014 campaign event.
The woman, Lucy Flores, added that the alleged incident was an issue of personal space, not any kind of assault or harassment.
“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,” Flores told MSNBC. “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.”
But another woman came forward on Monday to accuse Biden of inappropriately touching her at a 2009 political fundraiser, the Hartford Courant reported.
Bill Russo, a spokesman for Biden, pushed back on the allegations and the use of other photos depicting Biden as invading personal space. The women in the photos in question have also spoken out, saying there was no wrongdoing involved.
“These smears and forgeries have existed in the dark recesses of the internet for a while,” Russo said. “And to this day, right wing trolls and others continue to exploit them for their own gain.”
But Biden is still facing mounting criticism, both from the field of Democratic presidential candidates and the high-profile Democratic leadership. Though none are saying the allegations should disqualify him from the 2020 race.
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