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Trump tweets bizarre superimposed video of Joe Biden mocking sexual misconduct accusations

Mr Biden is mulling a bid to take on Mr Trump in 2020

Clark Mindock
New York
Thursday 04 April 2019 15:03 BST
Joe Biden says he 'will be more mindful about respecting personal space'

Donald Trump has tweeted an edited video of Joe Biden, apparently showing the former vice president sneaking up on himself during a video in which he addresses sexual misconduct allegations.

The president's tweet comes just a day after Mr Biden posted his original video, in which he addressed accusations from at least four women that he had touched them inappropriately in the past. None of the women accused Mr Biden of sexual assault or harassment, and Mr Biden said in the video that he plans on being more cognisant of personal space going forward.

"WELCOME BACK JOE!" Mr Trump wrote alongside the video, which showed a superimposed of the vice president sneaking up on Mr Biden and then appearing to massage his shoulders.

The accusations against Mr Biden first emerged after former Nevada state assemblywoman Lucy Flores came forward, saying that she felt violated by Mr Biden at a 2014 campaign stop in which he approached her from behind and kissed her on the back of the head. Ms Flores was joined by at least three other women who similarly said that they felt uncomfortable by the way the former vice president had touched them.

Mr Biden's tendency to touch women in these ways has been on full display for years, but the behaviour is under new scrutiny amid a national dialogue about sexual assault, misconduct, and harassment sparked and maintained by the MeToo movement.

In his video, Mr Biden said that his behaviour is the result of the way he views politics — one that values fostering human connection, he said — but said that he understands that perspectives on personal space have shifted.

“Today I want to talk about gestures of support and encouragement that I have made to women and some men that have made them uncomfortable. In my career, I’ve always tried to make a human connection. That’s my responsibility, I think. I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders and say, ‘you can do this.’ And, whether they’re women, men, young, old, it’s the way I’ve always been. It’s the way I’ve tried to show I care about them and I’m listening,” Mr Biden said in the video.

“Over the years, knowing what I’ve been through, the things that I’ve faced, I’ve found that scores if not hundreds of people have come up to me and reached out for solace and comfort — something, something, anything that may help them get through the tragedy they’re going through,” Mr Biden continued.

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“It’s just who I am. ... I’ve never thought of politics as cold and anti-septic. I’ve always thought about it as connecting with people. As I said, shaking hands, hands on the shoulder, a hug, encouragement, and now ... it’s all about taking selfies together. You know, social norms have being to change. They’ve shifted. And, the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset. And I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying. I understand it. And I’ll be much more mindful — that’s my responsibility.”

Mr Trump has been accused of much worse, with over a dozen women accusing the president of sexual assault or misconduct since the release of the Access Hollywood tape in which Mr Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women.

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