Home News Biden denies sexual allegations in first statement on Reade’s claims

Biden denies sexual allegations in first statement on Reade’s claims

by Mike Santorini

Joe Biden on Friday denied the sexual assault allegations charge, against him by his former staffer Tara Reade, in a statement released ahead of an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

The statement claims: “They aren’t true. This never happened,” referring to Reade’s allegations.

“While the details of these allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault are complicated, two things are not complicated. One is that women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced. The second is that their stories should be subject to appropriate inquiry and scrutiny.”

“News organizations that have talked with literally dozens of former staffers have not found one – not one – who corroborated her allegations in any way,” he wrote in the statement which was released before an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

“Indeed, many of them spoke to the culture of an office that would not have tolerated harassment in any way – as indeed I would not have.”

He also called on the National Archives to “identify any record of the complaint she alleges she filed and make available to the press any such document … If there was ever any such complaint, the record will be there,” he said.

Biden is expected to go on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss the allegations for the first time at 8 a.m.

How we got here: Biden’s response comes more than a month after Tara Reade came forward and publicly accused him of sexual assault.

The story gained little traction initially but in recent days, more circumstantial evidence emerged that backed Reade’s account, prompting increasing scrutiny of the allegation along partisan lines on Capitol Hill.

Biden’s campaign has repeatedly denied the allegation, saying the alleged incident “absolutely did not happen.”

The allegations: Reade, who worked as a staffer at Biden’s then-Senate office, said Biden kissed her and penetrated her with his fingers without her consent during their encounter on Capitol Hill in 1993.

Her brother and a friend of Reade confirmed that she told them about the incident and this week, a former neighbor and a former staff worker from another Senate office, said they learned about Reade’s encounter with Biden in the mid-1990s as well. 

Her former neighbor couldn’t remember whether Reade mentioned his name but went into great detail about what happened when Reade met Biden on Capitol Hill.

A 1993 clip from “Larry King Live” also appears to back Reade’s claims. It features a woman calling into the CNN show to ask for advice about her daughter’s issue with a “prominent senator.” Reade later confirmed that it’s her mother’s voice.

Reade has said that she’s willing to go under oath and has slammed public and political figures who defended Biden.

The criticism: Despite the Biden campaign’s response to the allegations, the former vice president came under intensifying pressure to address the allegations himself from both sides of the aisle.

Republicans pointed to how the sexual allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were treated and some Democrats are worried that the new developments might hurt his White House bid.

Democrats are also taking heat for how they are treating the story. Critics say they’re applying a double standard, given their uproar and overwhelming support for the women who accused Kavanaugh. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also criticized a double standard in the media. Biden has conducted multiple TV interviews since Reade came forward but wasn’t asked about allegations at all.

Stacey Abrams, who is believed to be on Biden’s shortlist for running mates, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), are among the Democrats to address the allegations and doubled down their support for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

“I want to remove all doubt in anyone’s mind: I have a great comfort level with the situation as I see it, with all due respect in the world for any woman who comes forward, with all the highest regard for Joe Biden,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday.

Share this:

Leave a Comment