In an interview this morning, 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden denied his former intern’s assault allegations.
In an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, former Vice President Joe Biden denied the sexual assault allegations from a former Senate aide, Tara Reade.
Joe Biden, asked on @Morning_Joe if he sexually assaulted Tara Reade:— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 1, 2020
“No, it is not true. I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened. And it didn’t. It never happened.” pic.twitter.com/nXIAdGloG5
Tara Reade’s story first resurfaced in an article in The Intercept on March 24. Podcast host Katie Halper then interviewed Reade, who said that in 1993, a more senior member of Biden’s staff asked her to bring the then-senator his gym bag near the U.S. Capitol building, which led to the encounter in question.
“He greeted me, he remembered my name, and then we were alone. It was the strangest thing,” Reade told Halper. “There was no like, exchange really. He just had me up against the wall.”
Reade said that she was wearing “a business skirt,” but “wasn’t wearing stockings — it was a hot day.”
She continued: “His hands were on me and underneath my clothes, and he went down my skirt and then up inside it and he penetrated me with his fingers and he was kissing me at the same time and he was saying some things to me.”
Reade said Biden first asked if she wanted “to go somewhere else.”
“I pulled away, he got finished doing what he was doing,” Reade said. “He said: ‘Come on, man. I heard you liked me.'”
Reade said she tried to share her story last year, but nobody listened to her. Earlier this month, she filed a criminal complaint against Biden with police in Washington, D.C.
Here is the transcript of Biden’s interview with Brzezinski, including annotations.
Mika Brzezinski: Mr. Vice President, thank you for coming on the show this morning. We have a lot of questions to ask you.
Joe Biden: Thank you for having me.
Mika Brzezinski: We’ll ask you questions about how you would handle this pandemic, the campaign, and other news of the day. For the start, it is just you and me. I want to get right to the allegation made against you by Tara Reade. So the former Senate aide accuses you of sexual assault. To our viewers, please excuse the graphic nature of this, but we want to make sure there is no question about what we are talking about. She says in 1993, Mr. Vice President, you pinned her against a wall and reached under her clothing and penetrated her with your fingers.
Would you please go on the record with the American people? Did you sexually assault Tara Reade?
Joe Biden: No. It is not true. I’m saying unequivocally: It never, never happened. And it didn’t. It never happened.
Mika Brzezinski: Do you remember her? Do you remember any types of complaints she might have made?
Joe Biden: I don’t remember any type of complaint she may have made. It was 27 years ago. I don’t remember, nor does anyone else that I’m aware of. And the fact is that I don’t remember. I don’t remember any complaint ever having been made.
Mika Brzezinski: Have you or your campaign—have you reached out to her?
Joe Biden: No. I have not reached out to her. It was 27 years ago. It never happened. When she first made the claim [in March], we made it clear that it never happened. And that’s as simple as that.
Mika Brzezinski: In the past 30 minutes or so, you released a statement on Medium, and among other things you write this: “There is only one place a complaint of this kind could be, the National Archives. I am requesting that the secretary of state”—the Senate—“ask the Archives to identify any record of the complaint she alleges she filed … If there was [ever] any such complaint, the record will be there.” Are you preparing us for a complaint that might be revealed in some way? Are you confident there is nothing?
Joe Biden: I’m confident there is nothing. No one ever brought it to the attention of me 27 years ago … No one that I’m aware of in my campaign—excuse me, in my Senate office at the time—is aware of any such request. And—or of any such complaint. And so I’m not worried about it at all. If there is a complaint, that’s where it would be and that’s where it would be filed. And if it’s there, put it out, but I have never seen it. No one has that I’m aware of.
Mika Brzezinski: The New York Times has investigated this exhaustively. They didn’t find any of your staff were able to corroborate the details of this allegation. She did file a police report a few weeks ago with the D.C. police. But since you want to set the record straight, why limit this only to Tara Reade? Why not release any complaints that had been made against you during your Senate career?
Joe Biden: I’m prepared to do that. To the best of my knowledge, there have been no complaints made against me in my Senate career or my office, or anything I ran. Look, this is an open book. There is nothing for me to hide. Nothing at all.
Mika Brzezinski: You were unequivocal in 2018 during the Kavanaugh controversy and hearings that women should be believed. You said this: “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights, the focus nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she is talking about is real. Whether or not she forgets the facts, whether or not it has been made worse or better over time.” [Reade is] going to be going on national television on Sunday. Tara Reade is coming forward in the glaring lights, to use your words—should we not start off with the presumption that the essence of what she’s talking about is real? She says you sexually assaulted her.
Joe Biden: Look, from the beginning, I’ve said believing a woman means taking the women’s claim seriously when she steps forward. And then vet it. Look into it. That’s true in this case as well. Women have a right to be heard, and the press should investigate claims they make. I will always uphold that principle. But in the end, in every case, the truth is what matters. In this case, the truth is: The claims are false.
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