Joe Biden Denies Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Allegations
Former Vice President Joe Biden broke his silence on Tara Reade’s allegations today, denying her claims that he sexually assaulted and inappropriately touched her while she worked as an aide in his Senate office in 1993.
In an essay published to Medium, Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, wrote, “I recognize my responsibility to be a voice, an advocate, and a leader for the change in culture that has begun but is nowhere near finished. So I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago. They aren’t true. This never happened.”
As Reade has maintained that she filed a Senate personnel report at the time of the alleged assault, Biden, in his essay, called on the National Archives to release any existing complaint.
During a Friday interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Biden continued to deny Reade’s claims. “No, it is not true,” he said. “I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened.”
Biden’s statement follows weeks of silence, increasing pressure, and a bizarre lack of public questioning over the matter in the era of #MeToo.
Reade’s claims—namely that then-Senator Biden pinned her against a wall and forcibly penetrated her under her skirt with his fingers—have been scrutinized after three former Senate aides, who she claimed she directly spoke to about the incident, said they do not recall any such conversation or that it did not happen.
Still, parts of Reade’s story have been corroborated. After she said her mother (who has since passed) called into Larry King Live at the time to implore the talk show host for advice, news site The Intercept published the transcript. In the video, a woman speaking on the phone says, “I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.”
A former neighbor of Reade’s, who now supports Biden’s presidential bid, also told Business Insider that she recalled talking to her about the incident. “This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it,” Lynda LaCasse told the outlet.
Another source, Lorraine Sanchez, who worked with Reade in the office of a California state senator in the mid-’90s, also told BI that she recalls Reade complaining about her former boss sexually harassing her in Washington, D.C.
The Biden campaign continues to deny these allegations.
Meanwhile, Reade, who once described herself as a “lifelong Democrat” told BuzzFeed News that she felt betrayed by the party and the press for seemingly not taking her allegations seriously.
“It was really devastating when [Kirsten] Gillibrand and Stacey Abrams and Hillary Clinton, all on the same day, just basically implied my story wasn’t true and they believe Joe Biden. I can’t describe to you what that felt like,” Reade told the outlet. “They didn’t just say, ‘Oh, we’re standing with Joe Biden until we hear more.’ They just discounted me. They marginalized me. They said they didn’t believe me.”
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