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Then-Vice President Joe Biden and Stephanie Carter in the viral image. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden, facing scrutiny for his public displays of affection with women after an allegation of inappropriate conduct, was defended Sunday by a woman whose image with him went viral.

In a Medium post titled "'The #MeToo Story That Wasn’t Me," Stephanie Carter said the image of Biden's embrace of her from behind as she watched her husband, Ash Carter, being sworn in as then-President Barack Obama's defense secretary in 2015 was "misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends."

Details: Referring to the image that went viral again this week in her post as "that picture," Carter wrote, " The Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful." She explained she had slipped on snow that day and was feeling nervous at the swearing-in ceremony:

By the time then-Vice President Biden had arrived, he could sense I was uncharacteristically nervous- and quickly gave me a hug. After the swearing in, as Ash was giving remarks, he leaned in to tell me “thank you for letting him do this” and 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 — sent out in a snarky tweet — came to be the lasting image of that day.

The backdrop: Nevada Democrat Lucy Flores alleged that Biden leaned in to smell her hair at a campaign event and kissed her on the head at a campaign event in 2014. Biden said in response he did not believe he had acted inappropriately.

The latest: Flores said in an interview on MSNBC with host Kasie Hunt was not alleging Biden sexually assaulted her. "It is an invasion of my personal space," Flores said. "It is a clear a clear invasion of my bodily autonomy to not be touched, unless I give you permission to touch it."

Go deeper: Joe Biden addresses inappropriate touching allegations

Go deeper

22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

2 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.