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Lucy Flores speaks to Jake Tapper on CNN yesterday.

A paragraph that a 76-year-old white male candidate for the Democratic nomination doesn't want to see, from a front-page story in today's NY Times:

Biden has drawn attention in the past for his intimate touching of political allies, their family members and even supporters he has just met — gestures that are seen as excessive to the point of creepy by some but viewed as harmless by his defenders.

The former vice president issued a new statement designed to defuse the damage from Friday's accusation by a Nevada politician, who appeared on CNN yesterday, that a kiss on the back of her head in 2014 was "gross":

  • "[N]ot once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention."

Lucy Flores, who was running for Nevada lieutenant governor when she appeared with Biden, said of the new statement: "I certainly think that it's better than his first statement."

  • "Frankly, my point was never about his intentions."
  • "It should be about the women on the receiving end of that behavior. And this isn't the first time, and it wasn't the only incident, where he was acting inappropriately with women." 

Stephanie Carter, an entrepreneur married to former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, defended Biden in a Medium post about an online shot from 2015, of Biden comforting her after she slipped on ice before her husband's swearing-in:

  • "[A]s Ash was giving remarks, [Biden] kept his hands on my shoulders as a means of offering his support."
  • "But a still shot taken from a video  —  misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends ... came to be the lasting image of that day."

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.

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