Biden speaks with Anita Hill

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE, who Thursday announced a presidential bid, spoke with Anita Hill, a Biden campaign aide said Thursday. 

“They have spoken,” campaign aide Kate Bedingfield said on CNN. She declined to give more information on the “private discussion.”

A Biden spokesperson told The Hill in a statement that the former Delaware senator expressed regret for what what Hill went through during their conversation. 

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“Vice President Biden has spoken with Anita Hill. They had a private discussion where he shared with her directly his regret for what she endured and his admiration for everything she has done to change the culture around sexual harassment in this country,” the spokesperson said. 

Hill accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his Supreme Court confirmation process in 1991. Thomas has denied her allegations.

Hill’s treatment during a hearing on her claims by Biden, who was then chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has come under scrutiny in light of the “Me Too” movement and the heightened weight now placed on sexual misconduct claims.

Bedingfield also touted Biden’s later actions on women’s issues, including his advocacy for women to join the Senate Judiciary Committee and his support for Violence Against Women Act. 

Biden said last month that he wished he could have done something about Hill’s treatment during the hearing.  

“She was abused in the hearing. She was taken advantage of. Her reputation was attacked. I wish I could have done something,” he said, adding that he opposed Thomas’s confirmation. 

Hill said last year that Biden had not apologized to her over the issue, according to The Wrap. In recent weeks, several women have come forward to say that Biden touched them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable. 

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Biden posted a video vowing to do better in the future, but later joked about the accusations. He is among 21 people competing for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

—Updated at 3:04 p.m.

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