Former Vice President Joe Biden joked that he received permission to hug IBEW international union president Lonnie Stephenson, as Biden kicked off his first speech since seven women went public with claims that they were uncomfortable with the way he touched them.
"I want you to know I had permission to hug Lonnie," Biden joked. "I don't know, man.
Later in the speech, Biden invited several children onto the stage.
"All those kids, you want to come up on the stage, you can come up, it’s okay," Biden said. He shakes their hands before putting an arm around the nearest boy and making the same joke: "He gave me permission to touch him."
Watch Biden's full speech to the union: