Former US vice-president Joe Biden is facing new allegations of inappropriate behaviour from within his own Democratic Party.
A total of 26 Democrats also vying for their party’s presidential nomination to run against President Donald Trump claimed Mr Biden rubbed himself against them at the party’s first debate for all candidates.
After the debate a total of 17 women and nine men lodged complaints with their party’s governing body, the Democratic National Committee.
The debate was staged in the state of Iowa, traditionally the first state where rivals in both the Democratic and Republican parties face off in the lengthy primary and caucus system to choose a presidential candidate for the November 2020 election.
The venue was a high school hall in the small town of Fumbuck with all current Democratic presidential candidates on the stage at once (main picture) and open to questions from the audience and hosted by the CBS TV network’s political reporters Wal Terc and Ron Kite.
Mr Biden said the current crowded field of candidates for the party’s nomination was partly to blame for the complaints made against him.
“Every time I wanted to make a point during the debate I had to push through the crowd of other candidates to get anywhere near Wal or Ron who had the only two microphones on stage,” Mr Biden explained.
“With so many people on the stage, of course there will be some bodily contact between me and others as I move through the crowd.
“I’d say that would account for at least around half of those 26 complaints.”
When asked how he would account for the remainder of the complaints Mr Biden was direct.
“Oh those? They were just straight out frottage on my part. I love it, and you gotta take your chances when you see them, don’t you?” he said.