In the same week several women have accused Joe Biden of inappropriate behaviour, the former vice president decided to make a joke about consent. Not a great move.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the allegations, Biden joked twice about having permission to touch people. After being introduced by IBEW president Lonnie Stephenson, Biden told the crowd:

I just want you to know, I had permission to hug Lonnie.

Biden, who is rumoured to be running for president next year, was attending the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Construction Conference in Washington DC.

While the jokes were met with laughter and applause from a predominantly male audience, Biden's words were not really appreciated on social media.

His comments come after Lucy Flores, a former Nevada assemblywoman, wrote an essay last week, in which she said that Biden had made her feel "uneasy, gross and confused" when he came up from behind her and kissed the back of her head in a 2014 encounter. Other women have also come forward with similar stories.

After the event, when asked to address the allegations, Biden said:

I made it clear that if I made anyone feel uncomfortable, I feel badly about that. It was never my intention, ever, ever.

I’m sorry I didn’t understand more. I’m not sorry for any of my intentions, I’m not sorry for anything that I have ever done. I’ve never been disrespectful intentionally, to a man or a woman.

On Wednesday, he also posted a video on Twitter, crediting his behaviour to wanting to make "connections" with people and noting how "social norms" have changed.

HT The Daily Dot

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