- “No. It is not true. I'm saying unequivocally it never, never happened and it didn't,” Biden said.
- According to Reade, Biden “penetrated me with his fingers” in 1993 after she delivered a gym bag to him in a Senate building.
- The 77-year-old Biden has recently been under pressure by people inside and outside the party to address Reade's accusation.
Joe Biden, the the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential candidate for this year’s election, denied Friday morning that he sexually assaulted a former US Senate aide in 1993. It was the first time that Biden, a former US Senator and Vice President, had referred to the accusation made by the former aide, Tara Reade.
“No. It is not true. I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened and it didn’t,” Biden said in an interview with MSNBC’s ”Mornig Joe” program, when asked about the accusation. It has also been denied by those working on Biden’s campaign team.
According to Reade, Biden “penetrated me with his fingers” in 1993 after she delivered a gym bag to him in a Senate building. She was a staff assistant in Biden’s office at the time. “When I pulled away, the anger kind of emanated from him,” Reade said in an interview with POLITICO. “He pointed his finger in my face and said, ‘You’re nothing to me. You’re nothing.'”
The 77-year-old Biden has recently been under pressure by people inside and outside the party to address Reade’s accusation. In addition to his take on the matter on “Morning Joe,” Biden has also released a detailed statement in regard to the issue. Part of the statement reads thus:
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.
He continued, “responsible news organizations should examine and evaluate the full and growing record of inconsistencies in her story, which has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways.” Biden’s statement adds, “but this much bears emphasizing.”
She has said she raised some of these issues with her supervisor and senior staffers from my office at the time. They — both men and a woman — have said, unequivocally, that she never came to them and complained or raised issues. News organizations that have talked with literally dozens of former staffers have not found one — not one — who corroborated her allegations in any way. 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.
Biden has also said that he is not going to question Reade’s motive, and that he did not know why she made the complaint.
Reade’s accusations were published by several newspapers, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, which also interviewed a friend of Reade who reported that she had told him about the assault. Another friend told the Times that Reade revealed the situation to him in 2008. Reade’s brother also confirmed parts of his sister’s allegations.