Joe Biden admits sex harassment investigation may have damaged reputation

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Biden’s low numbers could be attributed to the FBI probe, which came after he said women would have stories to tell

The former US vice president, Joe Biden, has revealed why his approval ratings in one poll are so low.

As he ponders a presidential run in 2020, Mr Biden – in an interview with NYMag – said part of the explanation could be because of an FBI investigation into an intern’s sex harassment allegation.

Former FBI Director James Comey asked a prosecutor to keep the investigation a secret, an inquiry which continues.

Since then Mr Biden has had to face whether he should have met the women’s lawyer.

Mr Biden said he had disagreed with his senior staff on the issue, but he was persuaded that it was a “last resort” approach.

“The first step is to reach out,” Mr Biden said. “He should not have done that.”

However, The New York Times reported later that Mr Biden had not been directly informed of the investigation that led to the revelation, and that prosecutors had kept the allegations confidential.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Biden said a chief of staff had told him to meet with the woman’s lawyer

“Nothing would surprise me,” Mr Biden said of the situation.

According to Mr Biden, his lawyers also discussed a possible resignation, and that said he declined.

He said if it were him who had been subjected to the investigation, he would have resigned.

Former US president Barack Obama famously told Mr Biden that he should run for president before going on to put up the 46-year-old Democrat for the election.

In the interview with NYMag, Mr Biden said that now, during his early campaigning, he will be talking to people about his time as vice president and sometimes about his time as president as well.

“I’m looking for ways to get the message across, not that I’m some centrist who agrees with everything that Donald Trump does but will run a centrist ticket,” he said.

Asked whether he had missed what he could have been, the 76-year-old was candid.

“I should have resigned the first day on the job, when it was clear that President Bush (Bush, Jr.) was going to veto my attempt to reform Social Security,” he said.

Mr Biden, a former Delaware senator, also said he disagreed with a public statement about how his marriage to wife Dr Jill Biden had improved in recent years.

“After I admitted to cheating on my wife and said I was going to seek therapy and try to save my marriage, I had a number of letters from people saying that,” he said.

“I think she’s a wonderful woman, but I can tell you that once I admitted to being unfaithful, I bet we both felt like a couple of newlyweds. We put that behind us,” he added.

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