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Biden reveals Anita Hill hearing regret

In an interview on NBC News, former Vice President Joe Biden reveals his biggest regret during Anita Hill's Senate hearing.

Posted: Sep 22, 2018 1:26 PM
Updated: Sep 22, 2018 1:52 PM

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that he understood at the time of the Anita Hill hearing the gravity of women coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment or assault and the importance of how they are treated.

Biden has faced criticism for years over his handling of Hill's hearing. As Senate Judiciary Committee chairman in 1991, Biden presided over the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during which Hill alleged she faced sexual harassment by the then-nominee. The episode, which draws striking parallels to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process in the midst of sexual assault allegations, looms over Biden as he considers a presidential run in 2020.

"The woman should be given the benefit of the doubt and not be abused again by the system," Biden said in an interview with NBC Friday. "My biggest regret was, I didn't know how I could shut you off because you were a senator and you were attacking Anita Hill's character...She got victimized during the process."

"It seems like you get it now, versus in '91," NBC's Craig Melvin later said.

"Well I think I got it in '91," Biden responded, noting he drafted the Violence Against Women Act. "People have their own opinion."

Hill has long been critical of Biden's approach to the hearings and earlier this week, said she has yet to receive a direct apology from the former vice president.

"He owes all of us an apology," Hill told the Boston Globe. "He owes the country an apology because the affront was not just to me. It was really a disservice to every one of us — not just on behalf of sexual harassment victims but also on behalf of those people who believe in the integrity of the court and that it should be protected by the Senate, whose role is to advise on judicial nominations."

The Senate Judiciary Committee is negotiating the terms of a potential hearing with Professor Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of physically and sexually assaulting her at a party during their high school years. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

Biden said he thinks an FBI investigation into the allegations should be conducted and urged the committee to learn from the lessons of the Thomas hearings 27 years ago, stressing they should not engage in "character assassination."

"So much has changed about how the public understands the pressure on women. And I've learned a lot, as well too," he said. "She should not have to go through what Anita Hill went through and some of the questions that she got asked and the way the right went after her on national television and questioned her integrity and questioned her, not just her honesty, questioned her behavior."

"That's just not appropriate," he added. "You shouldn't have to be twice put through the same exact thing."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 501652

Reported Deaths: 10024
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34353540
DeSoto32162408
Hinds31977631
Jackson24508383
Rankin22015390
Lee15596235
Madison14597280
Jones13867243
Forrest13461252
Lauderdale11998317
Lowndes11065188
Lamar10522136
Pearl River9547237
Lafayette8557140
Hancock7740127
Washington7443160
Oktibbeha7147133
Monroe6787178
Warren6706176
Pontotoc6677104
Neshoba6642206
Panola6542131
Marshall6476135
Bolivar6323150
Union605794
Pike5824152
Alcorn5676102
Lincoln5439135
George497479
Scott473098
Tippah470381
Prentiss469182
Leflore4663144
Itawamba4640105
Adams4592119
Tate4592111
Copiah448792
Simpson4448116
Yazoo444887
Wayne440072
Covington429094
Sunflower4240105
Marion4232108
Coahoma4168107
Leake408688
Newton381779
Grenada3711108
Stone360664
Tishomingo360092
Attala331789
Jasper330165
Winston314691
Clay308977
Chickasaw301067
Clarke292594
Calhoun279447
Holmes267987
Smith264150
Yalobusha234547
Tallahatchie228251
Greene219449
Walthall218764
Lawrence213140
Perry205956
Amite205256
Webster203046
Noxubee186840
Montgomery179657
Jefferson Davis172243
Carroll169338
Tunica160039
Benton149239
Kemper141941
Choctaw133326
Claiborne132837
Humphreys129638
Franklin120328
Quitman106528
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94734
Sharkey64220
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 820312

Reported Deaths: 15407
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1148731924
Mobile726221339
Madison52362697
Shelby37640350
Baldwin37266552
Tuscaloosa35120612
Montgomery34123740
Lee23540246
Calhoun22236488
Morgan20958378
Etowah19838500
Marshall18381304
Houston17394412
St. Clair16078339
Cullman15468293
Limestone15354199
Elmore15271286
Lauderdale14323295
Talladega13851283
DeKalb12664261
Walker11221370
Blount10207176
Autauga10048148
Jackson9877184
Coffee9211191
Dale8904185
Colbert8877201
Tallapoosa7093198
Escambia6778134
Covington6715183
Chilton6648162
Russell637559
Franklin5969105
Chambers5612142
Marion5010127
Dallas4979200
Pike4796106
Clarke475884
Geneva4575127
Winston4522103
Lawrence4327117
Bibb425386
Barbour357876
Marengo338390
Monroe331664
Randolph329864
Butler326796
Pickens316584
Henry312866
Hale311688
Cherokee302960
Fayette294180
Washington251651
Cleburne247760
Crenshaw245375
Clay243368
Macon234863
Lamar224847
Conecuh186353
Coosa180340
Lowndes175464
Wilcox168939
Bullock151744
Perry138940
Sumter133238
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
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