Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who was announced as the running mate of Democratic candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday, Aug. 11, said last year that she believed the women who accused Biden of inappropriate contact.

At a news conference in California in April 2019, Harris said, “I believe them, and I respect them being able to tell their story and having the courage to do it,” TheHill reported. At that time, Harris added that Biden should evaluate and decide for himself whether to run for president.

Several women accused Biden of inappropriate touching and kissing. A former Democratic state legislator from Nevada, Lucy Flores, made the first accusation in an essay she wrote in “The Cut”. A week later, Amy Lappos told the Hartford Courant that Biden touched her inappropriately at a 2009 fundraiser in Connecticut. 

“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” Lappos told The Courant on Monday, April 1, 2019. “He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth.”

Two other women, Caitlyn Caruso and D.J. Hill, also accused the presidential candidate of inappropriate behavior and shared their experiences with The New York Times.

Following the accusations, Biden released a video in which he said on Twitter, “Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it.”

Almost a year later, Biden was accused of sexual assault by former assistant Tara Reade. According to Fox News, the accusations were made in March, 2020 by a woman named Tara Reade, an apparent supporter of Biden’s main rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). She said she was Biden’s personal assistant in 1993 when he was in the Senate.

A spokesman for presidential candidate Joe Biden flatly denied the sexual assault charge made by Reade, calling the claim about the alleged incident decades ago “false.”