Under fire, former U.S. V.P. Biden says he did not treat Anita Hill badly

By James Oliphant WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S.

Reuters April 27, 2019 00:07:18 IST
Under fire, former U.S. V.P. Biden says he did not treat Anita Hill badly

Under fire former US VP Biden says he did not treat Anita Hill badly

By James Oliphant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, in his first interview as a Democratic presidential candidate, said on Friday that he does not believe he treated law professor Anita Hill badly during the 1991 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Biden had joined the burgeoning 2020 Democratic field a day earlier.

Biden’s conduct during those hearings, when he was chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, became a renewed subject of controversy after the New York Times reported that Biden had called Hill earlier this month in the run-up to his presidential bid and that Hill was dissatisfied with Biden’s expression of regret.

Appearing on ABC’s “The View,” Biden largely defended his actions as a senator almost 30 years ago, saying he believed Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment levied at Thomas and tried to derail his confirmation.

Activists have long been unhappy that Hill was questioned in graphic detail by the all-white, all-male committee chaired by Biden.

“I’m sorry she was treated the way she was treated,” Biden said, but later, he asserted, “I don’t think I treated her badly. ... How do you stop people from asking inflammatory questions?”

“There were a lot of mistakes made across the board and for those I apologize,” he said.

Biden praised Hill as “remarkable” and said she is “one of the reasons we have the #MeToo movement.”

Asked why he had not reached out to Hill earlier, Biden said he had previously publicly stated he had regrets about her treatment and that he “didn’t want to quote invade her space.”

That seemed to be a reference to another controversy that looms over Biden’s presidential run: allegations by several women that he made them uncomfortable by touching them at political events.

Biden also addressed that criticism, saying he was now more “cognizant” about a woman’s “private space.” But he maintained that he had been “trying to bring solace.”

He suggested he was still trying to sort out the guidelines for his conduct going forward.

“I should be able to read better,” he said. “I have to be more careful.”

Pressed by the show’s panel for an apology to his accusers, Biden would not entirely capitulate.

“So, I invaded your space," he replied. "I mean, I’m sorry this happened. But I’m not sorry in a sense that I think I did anything that was intentionally designed to do anything wrong or be inappropriate.”

Biden, 76, served as former President Barack Obama's vice president for two terms. He is competing with 19 others for the Democratic presidential nomination and the chance to likely face President Donald Trump next year in the general election.

His first public event as a presidential candidate is scheduled for Monday in Pittsburgh.

(Reporting by James Oliphant; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:


also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.