Trump mocks Biden's apology for inappropriate touching by posting parody video
In an essay for The Cut, Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores accused former vice president Joe Biden of touching her inappropriately while backstage at a 2014 campaign event. She wrote that he sneaked up behind her, smelled her hair and "proceeded to plant a big slow kiss" on the back of her head. In response, Biden stated that he "offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort" while on the campaign trail, and "not once" did he believe he acted inappropriately.
Following Flores' accusation, three more women came forward with accusations of inappropriate touching - rubbing noses, an unwanted hand on the thigh, and an unwanted hand on the back. In a video posted yesterday on Twitter, Biden addressed the allegations, explaining that he was just trying to connect with people. "Social norms have begun to change," noted the 76-year-old. "I will be more mindful and respectful of people's personal space... I've worked my whole life to empower women."
This morning, President Donald Trump mocked Biden's apology by posting a parody video on Twitter. In the fifteen second clip, Biden explains his behavior while a South Park-style Biden cut-out enters the frame, puts his hands on real Biden's shoulders, then smells his hair. "WELCOME BACK JOE!," the president wrote in the caption.
The altered video appears to have been originally posted by Twitter user @CarpeDonktum, an "eternally sarcastic memesmith" and fervid supporter of Donald Trump. The same user also shared the video on the controversial subreddit r/The_Donald, a forum notorious for racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, misogynistic and transphobic content.
In response to the parody video, some people praised Trump for having a great sense of humor. Others pointed out that Trump was caught on tape bragging about grabbing women "by the p*ssy," supported accused sexual abuser Roy More for Senate, ridiculed Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's Senate testimony about her sexual assault, and has been accused of sexual misconduct himself by more than a dozen women.
To describe just a few of these allegations: Make-up artist Jill Harth claimed Trump "pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress” during a dinner at his Mar-a-Lago resort in 1992. Several former beauty pageant contestants, including Jessica Dixon, Cassandra Searles and Tasha Dixon, allege Trump routinely walked in on them while they were changing clothes backstage.
And former sales rep Jessica Leeds claimed that three decades ago Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt during a flight. "He was like an octopus," Leeds told the New York Times. "His hands were everywhere."
Trump has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct, calling the women's claims "totally made up nonsense.
In forums and comment sections, Trump supporters are quick to state that the accusations against POTUS are just that, accusations, while Biden's inappropriate touching was captured on camera. However, none of the images of "Creepy Joe Biden" gleefully spread by right-wing trolls over the years actually document the specific interactions with his four accusers, as they all happened off-camera - at least, as of this writing.
In fact, one woman featured in one of the most notorious "Creepy Joe Biden" photos wrote an essay for Medium stating that she did not find the touching inappropriate. "The Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful," wrote Stephanie Carter, in a post titled The #MeToo Story That Wasn’t Me. "A still shot taken from a video - misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends - sent out in a snarky tweet - came to be the lasting image of that day."