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Nunes to send eight criminal referrals to DOJ on allegations of lying to Congress, leaking classified info

Nunes to send eight criminal referrals to DOJ on allegations of lying to Congress, leaking classified infoHouse Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes is targeting allegations of misconduct during the Trump-Russia investigation; Griff Jenkins reports.



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MeToo founder Tarana Burke condemns Joe Biden’s ‘inexcusable’ responses to unwanted touching allegations

MeToo founder Tarana Burke condemns Joe Biden’s ‘inexcusable’ responses to unwanted touching allegationsThe founder of the MeToo movement has hit out at Joe Biden for jokingly referring to complaints made against him by women about unwanted physical contact. Tarana Burke, who founded the movement against sexual harassment and assault, said the former vice president’s light-hearted response was “disrespectful and inexcusable”.Ms Burke, who first started using the phrase “MeToo” to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual misconduct in 2006, said the women were right to speak out against the veteran Democrat. But she Mr Biden appeared to be misconstruing the point they were attempting to make.“So now he’s making jokes? This is disrespectful and inexcusable,” she wrote on Twitter. She added: “It’s not that people become more ‘sensitive’ over time as Biden suggested. And it’s not just about personal space or intention – it’s about bodily autonomy, it’s about power and leadership, and it’s about living into who we say we are and who we want to be.”“He has *not* been accused of sexual assault. No one is calling for him to be incarcerated or sent away. He has been called to task for deeply problematic behaviour that many folks, particularly men, engage in regularly – and that’s a GOOD thing.”Society could not only be angry when it is a “Weinstein situation”, Ms Burke said, referring to disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein who has been accused by more than 80 women – including some of the most famous actors in Hollywood – of varying degrees of sexual misconduct going back decades.He is currently facing criminal charges on five counts of sexual abuse, including rape, relating to two accusers – charges he denies.Ms Burke said that “lesser talked about, often ignored violations and indignities” serve to intensify a “culture of silence around all sexual harassment and violence”.Mr Biden did not directly address the accusations in his first public appearance since several women came forward with allegations of unwanted physical contact.> Yes, Biden has been instrumental in work to support women. No, that doesn’t mean he’s above reproach or can’t course correct – but FIRST – he has to do some personal work and not just ‘being mindful’ but apologizing and using the tons of resources available to him.> > — Tarana (@TaranaBurke) > > April 5, 2019The 76-year-old, who is widely expected to enter the 2020 presidential race, was introduced by the president of the union, Lonnie Stephenson, as he took the stage in Washington at a gathering of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers on Friday.“I just want you to know – I had permission to hug Lonnie,” Mr Biden quipped.The crowd, which was largely male, burst into laughter. The politician later made a similar joke after inviting a group of children onstage and putting his arm around a young boy.“By the way, he gave me permission to touch him,” he said, again sparking laughter.Mr Biden said: “Everybody knows I like kids more than people”.The politician, who has been jointly elected twice as the running mate of former president Barack Obama, has not been accused of sexual assault or harassment but the women have said they felt he violated their personal space.Before his appearance Mr Biden, who is likely to be among Democratic favourites if he were to launch his third run for the White House, promised to change his behaviour in a video.He said: “Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful of personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it.”Speaking to reporters after Friday’s event, Mr Biden was asked if he would apologise to the women directly.He said: “I’m sorry I didn’t understand. I’m not sorry for any of my intentions.”He added: “I literally think it is incumbent upon me and I think everybody else to make sure that if you embrace someone, if you touch someone, it’s with their consent, regardless of your intention.”At least four women have recently come forward to accuse Mr Biden of unwanted physical contact.Lucy Flores, a Democrat who served in the Nevada state assembly, former congressional aide Amy Lappos, Caitlyn Caruso and DJ Hill. All said he either touched them or hugged them in a way that made them uncomfortable.Donald Trump, who was accused of sexual harassment or assault by two-dozen women when he ran in 2016, has capitalised on the allegations to mock Mr Biden and tweeted a doctored video showing Mr Biden appearing to put his hands on his own shoulders.Pressed about whether he deemed Mr Biden a threat on Friday, the president replied: “No, I don’t see Joe Biden as a threat. No. I don’t see him as a threat. I think he’s only a threat to himself.”



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Joe Biden apology tour? Don't expect former veep to dwell on allegations in Friday speech

Joe Biden apology tour? Don't expect former veep to dwell on allegations in Friday speechFormer vice president Joe Biden hopes to move past the allegations when he addresses a union Friday. Don't expect an apology tour, one analyst says.



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Joe Biden jokes about touching allegations at first public event, leading to criticism

Joe Biden jokes about touching allegations at first public event, leading to criticismJoe Biden spotted several children in the room and invited four of them on stage. After introducing himself, Biden joked as he draped his arm around a boy that "he gave me permission to touch him."



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Biden Jokes About Consensual Hugging in First Speech Since Creepy Touching Allegations

Biden Jokes About Consensual Hugging in First Speech Since Creepy Touching AllegationsAPIn his first public remarks since more than half a dozen women accused him of inappropriately touching them, former Vice President Joe Biden warned a raucous crowd of union workers in Washington, D.C., that their warm reception “may go to my head!”A few moments later, Biden proved himself right.Less than one minute into his speech before the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Biden joked that “I just want you to know, I had permission to hug Lonnie,” referring to union president Lonnie R. Stephenson, and making light of charges made by seven women that he touched, hugged, kissed and physically handled them in ways that made them uncomfortable.The audience of union workers, nearly entirely male, reacted to the joke with hoots, cheers, and whistles.“I don’t know, man,” Biden continued over the laughter. “Anyway.”The former vice president then continued with his address, making no further mention of the allegations against him until making another joke, this time after having approached the children of some union workers who had assembled on the podium and wrapping his arm around the neck of the boy closest to him.“By the way, he gave me permission to touch him,” Biden said, to further applause.Speaking to reporters after the speech’s conclusion, Biden said that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if other women came forward with allegations that he crossed a line in touching, caressing or kissing them, but suggested that the onus was on the women to make it clear before he touched them.“It is important that I and every one else is aware that any woman or man who feels uncomfortable, should have the right to say ‘I’m uncomfortable with that’ or hopefully get to the point before and say ‘I’m uncomfortable with that, no matter what.’ I really do understand it.”Biden also denied that he had joked about the issue of consensual touching in his speech.“I wasn’t joking,” Biden said. “The president of the union put his arms around me. That’s how it’s always been. That’s how people react.”Asked if he felt that he owed the women an apology, Biden initially dodged the question before allowing that while he was “sorry I didn’t understand, I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything I’ve done.”Biden’s decision to make mockery of the issue of consensual physical contact on the campaign trail—sparked by former Democratic candidate for Nevada lieutenant governor Lucy Flores, who wrote about an alleged incident in a piece for New York Magazine’s “The Cut”—is a departure from a video he released hastily on Thursday, in which he offered qualified contrition for making any women feel uncomfortable.“In my career I’ve always tried to make a human connection, that’s my responsibility,” Biden said in the video. “Whether they’re men, women, young, old—it’s the way I've always been. It’s the way I try to show I care about them and I’m listening… It’s just who I am.”Flores, of course, was not impressed with Biden’s comments Friday, tweeting: “It’s clear @JoeBiden hasn’t reflected at all on how his inappropriate and unsolicited touching made women feel uncomfortable. To make light of something as serious as consent degrades the conversation women everywhere are courageously trying to have.” Asked by The Daily Beast if this helped solidify her rationale for coming forward, Flores said: “Yes. Until his type of inappropriate behavior, which to be clear, isn’t friendly hugs, is taken seriously, women will continue to feel disempowered to speak out against inappropriate behavior.”Biden, who is approaching a potential third run for the Democratic presidential nomination, acknowledged in the video that “social norms” have changed, and that he would be more “mindful” in the future. “They’ve shifted, and the boundaries in protecting personal space have been reset. And I get it,” Biden said. “I’ll be much more mindful and will respect it.”Biden has styled himself as a champion for women’s rights, pointing to his authorship of the Violence Against Women Act, but skeptics have pointed to the charges against him, as well as his mishandling of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings, as evidence that he does not adequately understand the post-MeToo political climate.“As human beings, we all make mistakes,” said Sukari Hardnett, who Biden refused to allow to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Anita Hill, who in 1991 accused Thomas of sexual harassment. “But what’s critical is that we learn from those mistakes.”The former vice president’s nascent presidential campaign has struggled to shake the allegations, in part because there is no official campaign organization to do so. On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that some of Biden’s advisers have become convinced that the stories of women having been made to feel physically uncomfortable around the former vice president as “all coming out of Bernie World,” insinuating that Flores’ allegations were made to support the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).Sanders’ campaign fervently denied that implication.“Neither the Bernie Sanders campaign nor anyone involved in it, planted, planned, persuaded, cajoled or otherwise urged Lucy Flores or anyone else to tell their story. Full stop, period, end of sentence. I don’t want to hear it. We didn’t play a role,” Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir told The Daily Beast.—With reporting by Gideon Resnick.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here



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'We cannot have perfection as a litmus test': Stacey Abrams defends Biden amid allegations

'We cannot have perfection as a litmus test': Stacey Abrams defends Biden amid allegationsAbrams said there was no truth to the reports that Biden approached her about entering the 2020 race as his vice presidential running mate.



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John Kennedy on Biden Allegations: ‘This Is No Country for Creepy Old Men’

John Kennedy on Biden Allegations: ‘This Is No Country for Creepy Old Men’Senator John Kennedy (R., La.) on Wednesday said the invasive behavior ascribed to former vice president Joe Biden by two women was “creepy,” and suggested that the country would no longer tolerate politicians who are seen to abuse their power.“This is no country for creepy old men. And it needs to stop. Do I consider it inappropriate to smell someone's hair? To get so close that I smell their hair? Yes! I mean duh! Somebody gets close enough to smell my hair they might get to smell my hair but they might lose some teeth,” Kennedy told reporters on Capitol Hill. “It's inappropriate! But other than that I don't know what to say. This is no county for creepy old men. And leaning in and smelling a guy's hair or a woman's hair is a little bit too close.”Two women have now accused Biden of invading their personal space in a way that made them uncomfortable during his time as vice president.Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state assemblywoman, claimed in a New York Magazine piece published Friday that Biden approached her from behind and "inhaled" her hair before kissing the back of her neck during a campaign event in 2014.Amy Lappos, a former congressional aide, told the Hartford Courant that Biden pulled her face toward his and rubbed his nose against hers during a fundraiser in 2009.In a series of statements released last week, Biden vowed to listen his accusers but maintained that he had never intended to make anyone uncomfortable. Then, in a statement released on Monday, Biden spokesman Bill Russo accused journalists and “right-wing trolls” of taking innocent photos out of context to discredit Biden ahead of a possible 2020 Democratic presidential bid.“These smears and forgeries have existed in the dark recesses of the Internet for a while. And to this day, right wing trolls and others continue to exploit them for their own gain,” Russo said.



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Joe Biden allegations: Second woman accuses former vice-president of unwanted touching

Joe Biden allegations: Second woman accuses former vice-president of unwanted touchingA second woman has accused Joe Biden of unwanted touching, as another rushed to defend the US former vice president against a “misleading” photograph. Amy Lappos claimed that Mr Biden “put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses”“When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth," she told The Hartford Courant newspaper. Ms Lappos said she met Mr Biden when she was working as a volunteer for Democrat Jim Hines. In a separate Facebook post, she called the exchange at a 2009 fundraiser, an “incredibly uncomfortable situation”. Her claims came days after Lucy Flores, a former Democratic politician in Nevada, claimed in The Cut that Mr Biden kissed the back of her head during a campaign stop. She wrote that the interaction between her and the former vice president was a “violation of my personal space,” but that it did not rise to the level of sexual misconduct or a form of assault. “As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. ‘Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?’” Ms Flores said. “I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified.”While some have criticised Mr Biden for being too physical with female colleagues, supporters and others, others have said pictures showing him with his hands around women are “misleading”. Stephanie Carter, who is the wife of former Defence Secretary Ashton B Carter, wrote an article for the Medium website defending the 76-year-old after photo of an exchange between the pair went viral after Ms Flores’ allegations surfaced.“Let me state upfront that I don’t know [Flores], but I absolutely support her right to speak her truth and she should be, like all women, believed,” she wrote. “But her story is not mine. She added: "The Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful. So, as the sole owner of my story, it is high time that I reclaim it — from strangers, Twitter, the pundits and the late-night hosts.”Meanwhile, Ms Carter said she was “uncharacteristically nervous” the day the photo was take on her and Mr Biden, as she had fallen on ice outside of the Pentagon before the event took place. Mr Biden noticed her worrying, she wrote, and “quickly gave me a hug.” She added the vice president “kept his hands on my shoulders as a means of offering his support.” Mr Biden denied he had acted “inappropriately” towards Ms Flores in a statement, but said he would “listen respectfully” to women sharing their stories. He did not respond to Ms Lappos’ claims but did offer general sympathy for women who have expressed discomfort with his interactions.“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately," he said. "If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention. I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear. But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will."



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Kellyanne Conway: Adam Schiff ‘Ought to Resign Today’ Over False Collusion Allegations

Kellyanne Conway: Adam Schiff ‘Ought to Resign Today’ Over False Collusion AllegationsWhite House adviser Kellyanne Conway said Monday that House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff “ought to resign” in recognition that his oft-repeated claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was not born out by special counsel Robert Mueller's nearly two-year investigation.“You have Adam Schiff, talk about an oxymoron, this man heads the Intelligence Committee in the House,” Conway said, adding that Schiff once suggested that “that the scandal is of a size and a scope probably bigger than Watergate and that there is plenty of evidence of collusion.”“He ought to resign today,” she asserted. “He has been on every TV show 50 times a day for practically the last two years promising Americans that the president would be impeached or indicted.”Conway's comments come one day after attorney general William Barr delivered to Congress a four-page summary of the Mueller report, which revealed that the special counsel “did not find anyone with the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.”Schiff, who has long-claimed that there is “plenty of evidence” of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, on Sunday clung to his previous assertions, saying that Mueller's inability to prove collusion beyond a reasonable doubt doesn't exonerate Trump.“There's a difference between compelling evidence of collusion and whether the special counsel concludes that he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt the criminal charge of conspiracy,” Schiff told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”



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Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman Indicted in Sweeping College Bribery Scheme. Here Are the Biggest Allegations and What to Know

Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman Indicted in Sweeping College Bribery Scheme. Here Are the Biggest Allegations and What to KnowWho was charged and the biggest allegations



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