Defense secretary laughs off vice president's physical moment with wife

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Ashton Carter 'Laughed' About Biden's Moment With Wife

Vice President Joe Biden had some folks cringing last month when he seemed to get especially close with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's wife -- but it turns out Carter didn't mind.

Biden raised eyebrows with his interaction with Stephanie Carter at her husband's swearing-in ceremony, leaning close and whispering sweet nothings in her ear as her husband gave his speech at the podium.

But when asked by Savannah Guthrie an interview that aired on "The Today Show" Tuesday whether he laughed or cringed at the moment, the top dog at the Pentagon said he wasn't worried.

"Oh, I laughed. I laughed. I laughed," Carter said. "They know each other extremely well, and we're great friends with the Bidens."

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Defense secretary laughs off vice president's physical moment with wife
Vice President Joe Biden talks with Stephanie Carter, wife of incoming Defense Secretary Ash Carter during Carter's swearing in ceremony, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Carter, 60, is President Barack Obama's fourth secretary of defense. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Vice President Joe Biden stands with Stephanie Carter, wife of incoming Defense Secretary Ash Carter, right, during Carter's swearing in ceremony, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Carter, 60, is President Barack Obama's fourth secretary of defense. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
This photo taken with an iPhone shows Vice President Joe Biden talking with Stephanie Carter, wife of incoming Defense Secretary Ash Carter, right, during Carter's swearing in ceremony, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Carter, 60, is President Barack Obama's fourth secretary of defense. (Nedra Pickler)
Vice President Joe Biden leans in to say something to Maggie Coons, next to her father Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., after Biden administered the Senate oath to Coons during a ceremonial re-enactment swearing-in ceremony, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, in the Old Senate Chamber of Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2012 file photo, Vice President Joe Biden talks to customers, including a woman who pulled up her chair in front of the bench Biden was sitting on, during a stop at Cruisers Diner in Seaman, Ohio. Let's be clear: the biker chick in the bandana and leather vest is NOT sitting in Biden's lap. But it sure looks like it. The vice president plunked himself down with some bikers in a diner in Seaman, Ohio, this fall, and leaned in close behind one woman, grabbing on to her shoulders as they posed for photos. That's Joe. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis. is kissed by Vice President Joe Biden during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, as the 113th Congress officially began. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis. is hugged by Vice President Joe Biden during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, as the 113th Congress officially began. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2012 file photo, Vice President Joe Biden visits with patrons over lunch at Cruisers Diner in Seaman, Ohio. Biden buddied up with bikers, posed for countless pictures at a pizza place. Obama goes airborne in a doozie of a bear hug with a pizza guy in Florida. Joe Biden cozies up with a biker chick in Ohio. Even the more reserved Mitt Romney seems to be loosening up some with people he meets on the campaign trail. Kissing babies and slapping backs are so yesterday. The 2012 candidates are putting their all into the campaign cliche of pressing the flesh. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Vice President Joe Biden hugs Ruth Glenn, interim executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, left, as Biden's daughter-in-law Kathleen Biden applauds at right, as Biden arrives to speak at the National Archives in Washington to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Vice President Joe Biden, left, hugs Lilly Jay, right, a sexual assault survivor, during a 'It's On Us' campaign during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. President Barack Obama, center, greeting guests in the front row, spoke Friday as the White House unveiled a new campaign to change the way people think about campus sexual assault. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Vice President Joe Biden, left, is greeted by Abraham H. Foxman, right, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League with a warm embrace. Biden, a surprise guest at the ADL's Centennial Gala, April 30 in Washington D.C., spoke about the agency's achievements in combating anti-Semitism and bigotry over the past century. (AP Photo/Anti Defamation League, David Karp)
Vice President Joe Biden, center, kisses a niece of incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, with McConnell's wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, on the head during a ceremonial re-enactment swearing-in ceremony, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, in the Old Senate Chamber of Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, left, and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden hold a bilateral meeting after she was sworn in for a second term, at the Itamaraty palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Jan. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Ricardo Moraes, Pool)
FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2013, photo, Vice President Joe Biden reacts with his wife, Jill, as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington, during the Inaugural Parade during the 57th Presidential Inauguration parade after the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama. Biden in 2016? The inauguration is barely over but the vice president already is dropping plenty of hints that he might have another political act. Biden packed his schedule with events and receptions attended by party stalwarts throughout the long weekend of inauguration festivities, stoking speculation he may be laying the groundwork to carry the torch from Obama. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
President Barack Obama, left, and Vice President Joe Biden talk inside the presidential box during the Inaugural parade, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington. Thousands marched during the 57th Presidential Inauguration parade after the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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Of course, this is only the latest example of Biden snuggling up to a woman he encountered during a political event.

He raised eyebrows earlier this year during Senator Chris Coons' swearing in ceremony as he whispered in daughter Maggie Coons' ear. But when asked about the incident later Maggie said she didn't think the vice president was creepy.

He had more than a few folks calling him a "creeper" when he posed prom-style with a White House reporter during a Christmas party, but his wife stood nearby looking totally unfazed.

Who could forget that time he got cozy with a lady biker at a diner in Ohio? Her friends clearly didn't approve of his hands-on approach, but she didn't seem to mind.

Do you think Biden crosses the line? Or is he just being Biden? Tell us in the comments.
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