Joe Biden jokes about controversy over touching women

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The former vice president said he was "very close" to revealing his 2020 plans, and that he and his team were busy "putting everything together". That was never my intention. "Sort of, I don't know, leaves me scratching my head".

But while he sought to move past the controversy, the veteran politician made an awkward joke about the situation.

"By the way, he gave me permission to touch him", the would-be president said, prompting more laughter.

The overwhelmingly male audience laughed. "Here, I think in many ways he undoes that by making light of it, and then making it out to be one big joke".

Amy Lappos, a woman from CT who recounted earlier in the week an instance in which Biden rubbed noses with her, also found his response troubling.

That behavior has sparked criticism from his own party and its increasingly diverse base, with some saying he is out of step with changing social norms.

Biden is widely expected to enter the presidential race, with some aides forecasting an announcement by the end of this month.

No-deal Brexit a very real possibility, warns Ireland's deputy premier
Earlier, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said "options" for having checks away from the actual border were being probed. She voted for another referendum and to revoke article 50, but against a customs union or single market arrangement.

But he stopped short of an outright apology to those who have found fault with his actions. "I'm not sorry for any of my intentions", said Biden. "I am not sorry for anything that I have ever done", he continued. He doesn't get it if he's not understanding that women think their space was violated, that they were disrespected.

Ms Flores panned Mr Biden's remarks during the speech, tweeting: "To make light of something as serious as consent degrades the conversation women everywhere are courageously trying to have".

In spite of the jokes, Mr Biden told reporters after the event he was taking the complaints about his personal conduct seriously.

Several women have come forward in recent days to complain about Biden making them uncomfortable.

"It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations", Obama said.

But the doctored video retweeted by Trump shows images of Biden popping up behind the former vice president, touching and nuzzling him.

Trump also added that he doesn't see Biden as a threat in the 2020 USA elections.

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