AP NEWS

The Latest: Trump taunts Biden as ex-VP faces allegations

April 3, 2019
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Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage Awards Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former Vice President Joe Biden (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is taunting Joe Biden as the former vice president faces scrutiny over his past behavior toward women.

Trump spoke at a dinner Tuesday for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the fundraising arm for GOP House candidates.

Musing on potential 2020 Democratic opponents, Trump said the only one who’s not a socialist is “being taken care of pretty well by the socialists.”

Trump added: “I was going to call him and say, ‘Welcome to the world, Joe. You having a good time, Joe?’”

Two women have said Biden touched them in an overly familiar way years ago. Biden says he doesn’t believe he has acted inappropriately but will pay attention to women’s experiences.

For his part, Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women but has denied it.

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9:10 a.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Joe Biden’s sometimes too-affectionate politicking style is not disqualifying for a presidential bid but she has some advice for the former vice president and potential candidate: “Join the straight-arm club.”

In other words, keep your handshakes at arms’ length and don’t be touchy-feely.

Pelosi told a breakfast-hour crowd at a Politico event in Washington that Biden “has to understand that in the world we are in now people’s space is important to them.”

Pelosi also suggested that Biden’s apologies could have been better, telling the group that “what’s important is how they receive it, not necessarily how you intended it.”

Biden has been accused of being overly familiar in his dealings with women — rubbing women’s shoulders in public, kissing the back of one woman’s head, and rubbing noses with another — but not of assault or harassment.

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12:10 a.m.

Aides to Joe Biden are stepping up their defense of the former vice president as he faces scrutiny over past behavior toward women.

Biden spokesman Bill Russo blasted “right wing trolls” for conflating images of Biden embracing colleagues and friends in his official capacity during swearing-in ceremonies with uninvited touching.

The move Monday came on a day when a second woman said Biden had acted inappropriately, touching her face with both hands and rubbing noses with her in 2009. The allegation by Amy Lappos, former aide to Democratic Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut, followed a magazine essay by former Nevada politician Lucy Flores, who says Biden kissed her on the back of the head in 2014.

The developments underscored the challenge facing Biden should he run for president in 2020.