On Friday, The Cut published an account from ex-Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores alleging “inappropriate” behavior by then-Vice President Joe Biden before a rally during her 2014 campaign for lieutenant governor of Nevada. “He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual fuck?’” she wrote in the essay. According to Flores, Biden then planted a kiss on the back of her head. She says she told staffers about the incident, but otherwise kept quiet about it, given his power. “I had never experienced anything so blatantly inappropriate and unnerving before,” she said. “Even if his behavior wasn’t violent or sexual, it was demeaning and disrespectful,” Flores added. “I wasn’t attending the rally as his mentee or even his friend; I was there as the most qualified person for the job.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for Biden said he “respects Ms. Flores as a strong and independent voice in our politics and wishes her only the best.” “Neither then, nor in the years since, did he or the staff with him at the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes,” the statement says.