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Then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden in 1991. Photo: Bettmann via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden has spoken with Anita Hill and expressed his regret about how she was treated during Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearing in 1991, according to a Biden campaign spokesperson.

"Vice President Biden has spoken with Anita Hill. They had a private discussion where he shared with her directly his regret for what she endured and his admiration for everything she has done to change the culture around sexual harassment in this country."

The other side: In an interview with the New York Times, Hill said: "I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I’m sorry for what happened to you. I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose."

The backdrop: Hill accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991 and has previously said that Biden, then the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, "could have done more" to support her claims.

"The focus on apology to me is one thing. But he needs to give an apology to the other women and to the American public because we know now how deeply disappointed Americans around the country were about what they saw. And not just women. There are women and men now who have just really lost confidence in our government to respond to the problem of gender violence."

Biden said at a speech in March: "I wish I could have done something — I opposed Clarence Thomas’ nomination, and I voted against him...To this day, I regret that I could not come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing she deserved, given the courage she showed by reaching out to us."

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about 2020 candidate Joe Biden

Go deeper

Scoop: Stephanie Murphy announcing challenge to Marco Rubio

Rep. Stephanie Murphy. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy is planning to announce a campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida against Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in early June, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Murphy is a proven fundraiser. Jumping in now would give her an early start to build her case for the Democratic nomination and potentially force Rubio and allied GOP groups to spend heavily to retain a seat in a state that’s trending Republican.

54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inside the GOP's infrastructure strategy

Sen. Roger Wicker. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Top Republican senators are hoping the White House will make some sort of counteroffer to their infrastructure proposal when they meet with President Biden on Thursday, lawmakers and their aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is a sign of how serious the negotiations are, they say. In advance of the meeting, some of the senators are already publicly signaling the areas in which they have flexibility.

57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

By the numbers: Senate seats to watch in 2022

Data: Axios Research, Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Elections; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

While Republicans are giddy about their chances for regaining the House next year, GOP prospects for taking the Senate remain more uncertain, data reviewed by Axios suggests.

By the numbers: At least five Republican senators are retiring after the midterms, and four of their seats are in battleground states. That makes a simple Republican-for-Republican election exchange all the more difficult.

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