The piece features a photograph of Biden and Flores, together with actress Eva Longoria, earlier than the encounter Flores alleges passed off.
“I felt him get nearer to me from behind. He leaned additional in and inhaled my hair. I used to be mortified,” Flores wrote, including that she questioned why the then-vice president had come that near her. “He proceeded to plant an enormous gradual kiss on the again of my head. My mind could not course of what was taking place. I used to be embarrassed. I used to be shocked. I used to be confused.”
Flores continued: “I could not transfer, and I could not say something. I needed nothing greater than to get Biden away from me.”
Her account comes as Biden is contemplating a bid for president in 2020. He’s anticipated to announce his resolution as quickly as April.
In an announcement to CNN responding to Flores’ allegation, Invoice Russo, a Biden spokesman, mentioned, “Vice President Biden was happy to assist Lucy Flores’s candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of Nevada in 2014 and to talk on her behalf at a well-attended public occasion. Neither then, nor within the years since, did he or the employees with him on the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes.
“However Vice President Biden believes that Ms. Flores has each proper to share her personal recollection and reflections, and that it’s a change for higher in our society that she has the chance to take action. He respects Ms. Flores as a powerful and impartial voice in our politics and needs her solely the most effective.”
“For me, it was simply that I used to be actually disturbed by the truth that this was not being mentioned,” Flores mentioned. “That this a part of his historical past and his habits, given a lot photographic proof, given so many tales that had been written up to now and, frankly, I imagine had not been taken very critically. That have been mainly simply nearly like a joke. However this is not humorous. Whenever you’re on the receiving finish of this habits, it is not humorous in any respect.”
Biden’s spokesman Russo mentioned the previous vice chairman has at all times been a “champion for girls.”
“Individuals know Joe Biden and so they know his character, his integrity and his values. They know him to be somebody who’s empathetic, caring and who understands their issues and considerations,” Russo mentioned in an announcement on Saturday. “That is how he reacts to individuals and it is how individuals react to him. The truth is, a number of the individuals who know him finest — individuals who have labored for him all through his profession — are talking as much as say that he has at all times been a champion for girls in his workplace.”
Flores went on to solid her accusation as a comparatively minor one however mentioned she believed an individual of Biden’s standing ought to be held to a stronger commonplace.
“I am not suggesting that that is probably the most traumatizing factor that I had ever skilled in my life. I’m suggesting that it was improper and inappropriate,” she mentioned, including, “We should always anticipate higher from all women and men too — anybody that is ready of energy we must always anticipate higher from — and definitely we must always anticipate higher from the vice chairman of United States.”
In her essay, Flores, noting on the time she was a “younger Latina in politics,” mentioned she had “by no means skilled something so blatantly inappropriate and unnerving earlier than,” including that Biden “made me really feel uneasy, gross, and confused,” in addition to “powerless.”
“Even when his habits wasn’t violent or sexual, it was demeaning and disrespectful,” she wrote.
“I am not suggesting that Biden broke any legal guidelines, however the transgressions that society deems minor (or would not even see as transgressions) usually really feel appreciable to the particular person on the receiving finish. That imbalance of energy and a spotlight is the entire level — and the entire drawback,” Flores wrote.
Flores in her essay mentioned she thought-about “the doubts, the threats, the insults, and the minimization” that will come on account of her publicly sharing her allegation, however mentioned she determined to after contemplating Biden’s potential run.
In her essay, Flores describes a “male good friend who can also be a political operative in Biden’s orbit” who she mentioned made her query herself and surprise if she was doing the appropriate factor. She didn’t title the good friend within the piece, however Flores later confirmed to CNN that the person was political operative Cristobal Alex, who got here ahead on Twitter Friday night time to say Flores’ essay misrepresented him.
“I advised her as a good friend I used to be sorry and I used to be involved about she had advised me, which I had not heard earlier than,” Alex wrote on Twitter. “Realizing that I had been there, I went again to examine the images from the occasion. I advised her, as a good friend, that under no circumstances did I query her recollection of the expertise, however that after it turned public, she might anticipate questions, and that what she remembered didn’t match my recollection or what was within the images.”
Alex continued, writing that he felt “sucker-punched and shocked after I learn (her) essay,” which he mentioned “misrepresented me.”
After being learn Alex’s tweet — which was posted shortly earlier than her interview with CNN — Flores mentioned she stood by her characterization of the dialog in her account. Alex didn’t reply to requests for remark by CNN.
She additionally described her expertise as being emblematic of a extra deeply rooted political drawback — one which crosses partisan strains.
“That is one thing that’s going to proceed to occur and I feel that it is actually, actually vital that we do demand from all candidates, from all events, that they communicate to how they’ll handle these sorts of energy and imbalances and handle the dearth of accountability buildings to ensure that individuals to really feel protected,” Flores advised CNN. “And for individuals to really feel like if there was inappropriate habits or if one thing occurred to them, that they really feel like they will really say one thing about it.”
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.