Biden Accuser Amy Lappos Says She Now Supports the Former Vice President as 'Obvious Choice' to Defeat Trump

Amy Lappos, who is one of the women accusing Joe Biden of uncomfortable touching, has said she now supports the former vice president as the "obvious choice" to defeat President Donald Trump in November's presidential election.

"Did I want to end up with Joe Biden, two white males in the election? Not really. I don't see it being so progressive," Lappos said in an exclusive interview with Hearst Connecticut Media. "However, Joe Biden is the obvious choice to beat Trump right now and therefore, I support him."

Last year, Lappos was one of several women to accuse Biden of past inappropriate touching.

In an interview with The Hartford Courant, Lappos said Biden had "put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me" at a fundraiser in Connecticut in 2009.

"When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth," she said at the time. While she said the encounter "wasn't sexual," Biden had crossed a "line of respect."

While Lappos still stands behind the allegation, she said she does not want to see it "weaponized" in the 2020 election race.

"I want to make sure that the message I tried to send last year about bodily autonomy and survivorship—I wanted to make sure that that story is preserved," Lappos said. "And I don't want to be weaponized. I support Joe Biden right now."

Among the women who came forward to accuse Biden of inappropriate touching last year was Tara Reade, who has since come forward to further accuse Biden of sexually assaulting her while she was working in his Senate office in 1993.

Reade has accused Biden of pushing her up against a wall before penetrating her with his fingers.

Biden has denied the allegation, asserting in a statement released on May 1 that the alleged incident "never happened."

Addressing Reade's accusations head-on, Lappos said that while she believes something did happen to Reade, she remains skeptical about her account.

"I believe something happened to Tara Reade," Lappos said in a statement sent to Newsweek. Despite having reservations about Reade's account, Lappos said, "I believe she is a fellow survivor and I support her. I believe she speaks from a place of trauma."

In her interview with Hearst Connecticut Media, Lappos said that when she came forward with her own allegations, she was also targeted by "pushback" on social media.

"I wasn't expecting the amount of pushback that I got—push back, from primarily older male Democrats," said Lappos. "It was all social media. Some of them were so disgusting."

Lappos said she has also faced accusations of hiding deeper allegations to protect the former vice president after she identified herself as an "accuser" online.

The harassment came, she said, after she tweeted at Katie Halper, who broke the Reade story, questioning why she only interviewed Reade over her allegations and didn't also speak to Lappos.

"Katie Halper also chose only to speak to Biden accusers who support Bernie for her article. I never heard from her because I support our nominee and loathe Bernie," Lappos wrote. "That's a smear campaign posing as journalism."

Halper responded to the tweet by sharing it and suggesting that she would be open to speaking with Lappos.

While the two did not appear to speak following the exchange, Lappos said the interaction led critics to accuse Lappos of hiding further allegations against Biden because she identified herself as an "accuser."

"I want to make sure there is no belief that I was raped by Biden," Lappos said. "It's retraumatizing to keep hearing the word rape thrown at me and that I'm protecting rapists. That's been a nightmare."

Lappos said she had survived rape twice as a minor.

"As it was escalating, there is definitely a fear," she said. "You hear a noise and you're like s***. The mailman comes and you're, 'Oh god did somebody mail me something weird?'"

Ultimately, Lappos said, her decision to come forward last year was about encouraging a discussion about "bodily autonomy."

"I think this discussion, this bodily autonomy discussion, is so overlooked," she said. "An 18-inch radius around myself, that is my space. When that is space is respected and understood that that is your space to decide how you interact within that space... I think that uplifts the understanding of rape and molestation."

This article has been updated with a statement from Lappos, clarifying her views on Tara Reade's sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden.

Joe Biden
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks about the coronavirus outbreak, at the Hotel Du Pont March 12, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Drew Angerer/Getty
Biden Accuser Amy Lappos Says She Now Supports the Former Vice President as 'Obvious Choice' to Defeat Trump | U.S.