POLITICS
04/03/2019 15:24 EDT | Updated 04/04/2019 13:46 EDT

Kamala Harris On Joe Biden Accusers: 'I Believe Them'

The presidential hopeful weighed in on the recent allegations of inappropriate touching against the former vice president.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said she believes the women who have come forward alleging that former Vice President Joe Biden touched them without their consent. 

“I believe them, and I respect them being able to tell their story and having the courage to do it,” Harris told reporters at a presidential campaign stop in Nevada on Tuesday. 

Biden, who is expected to announce a 2020 presidential bid soon, has been accused of inappropriately touching or kissing four women. All of them said his behavior was inappropriate and made them uncomfortable. 

Asked whether Biden should still run for president, Harris responded that it was up to him. “He’s going to have to make that decision for himself. I wouldn’t tell him what to do,” she said.

Fellow presidential candidate former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) chimed in on the allegations against Biden during a press conference with reporters on Wednesday morning. 

“I think we need to listen to those who are raising their stories, who have the courage to come forward to share their experience,” O’Rourke told reporters in New York. 

Biden addressed the accusations in a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.

“I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders and say you can do this. Whether they’re women, men, young, old, it’s the way I’ve always been. It’s the way I’ve tried to show I care about them and listen,” he said.

“I hear what they’re saying. I understand it,” he continued. “And I’ll be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility. That’s my responsibility, and I’ll meet it.”

The former vice president initially responded to the allegations in a statement published over the weekend.

“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately,” he said. “If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.”