Mika Brzezinski doubled down on her defense of Joe Biden after a second woman came forward on Monday to accuse the former vice president of inappropriate conduct.
On “Morning Joe” Tuesday, Brzezinski told the audience that the accusations against Biden were “ridiculous” and warned that the #MeToo movement was heading off the rails.
“He’s affectionate and I’m just going to push back and I know I put myself at great peril here, there could be more, whatever. More of what? I want to ask,” she said. “So far, these two women have gotten national coverage for something they say was not sexual. So what was it? Affectionate and they didn’t like the affection? I don’t know what line we’re drawing here.”
“The mob needs to cut it out,” Brzezinski continued. “I’m worried about the mob here. This is not where #Me Too wants to go, in my opinion. Maybe thousands of women will come forward and prove me wrong. I don’t think so. I don’t think #MeToo wants to take down viable candidates for being affectionate but not sexual in their contact with women. This is not the line we want to draw.”
It was the second time in two days that the “Morning Joe” co-host has braved Twitter mobs to put herself front and center among the former vice president’s media defenders. On set Monday, Brzezinski, sounded a similar note.
“There’s a lot of things I know about Joe Biden — I’ve known him for a long time — he is extremely affectionate, extremely flirtatious in a completely safe way,” she said. “I am sure that somebody can misconstrue something he’s done. But as much as I can know what’s in anyone’s heart, I don’t think there is bad intent on his part at all.”
The position urging caution on #MeToo is not a new one for Brzezinski. As early as December 2017 during the height of the movement, the host raised early questions, suggesting that not all women should be believed. The remarks came one day after Democratic Sen. Al Franken resigned his office after facing accusations of misconduct from multiple women.
On Friday, Biden, who is leading in early Democratic presidential primary polls even though he has not formally declared his candidacy, was accused by former Nevada politician Lucy Flores of inappropriate touching during a campaign event in 2014. In a piece for The Cut, Flores said Biden had touched her shoulders, kissed the back of her head and smelled her hair without prior consent.
“My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused,” Flores wrote. “I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me.”
In a statement, released hours later, Biden said he remembered things differently.
“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort,” he said. “And not 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.”
A second woman, Amy Lappos, added her voice to the mix on Monday, telling the Hartford Courant that Biden also touched her inappropriately.
“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” Lappos told the paper. “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.”