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‘He gave me permission’: Joe Biden jokes about touching complaints

Joe Biden on Friday twice made joking references to complaints from women that his physical behavior made them uncomfortable. The former vice-president’s comments came during his first public appearance since the allegations began to surface last week. Biden quipped: “I just want you to know – I had permission to hug Lonnie.” The crowd, which was mostly male, erupted in laughter. Later, Biden made a similar joke after inviting a group of children onstage and putting his arm round a young boy. “By the way, he gave me permission to touch him,” the former vice-president said, again to laughter. “Everybody knows I like kids more than people,” Biden said. Although he has not been accused of sexual assault or harassment, the women have said they felt Biden violated their personal space. On Wednesday, Biden pledged in a video to change his behavior. “WELCOME BACK JOE!” Trump tweeted. Biden hit back, tweeting: “I see that you are on the job and presidential.”