2020 election: Joe Biden says anyone who believes Tara Reade should not vote for him in November

The former vice president confesses he does not remember the Senate staffer

Danielle Zoellner
Friday 15 May 2020 14:42 BST
Joe Biden says if voters believe Tara Reade they should not vote for him

Joe Biden has said anyone who believes accuser Tara Reade, who’s claimed he harassed her while working in the Senate, should not vote for him come November, but confessed he doesn’t remember the staffer.

The former vice president and assumed Democratic presidential nominee spoke to Lawrence O’Donnell for MSNBC on Thursday to discuss his bid to unseat Donald Trump come November.

When asked about Tara Reade, who worked for him for less than a year in 1993 while one of Delaware’s senators, Mr Biden said what he thought voters should decide who they support based on if they believed the allegations or not.

“If they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn’t vote for me. I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade,” he said.

Mr Biden, who spent 36 years in the Senate, has had hundreds of staffers during his decades-long career in Congress, and he was asked if he even remembered Ms Reade prior to her allegations.

“Well, to be honest, I don’t,” he said, before adding that any woman who comes forward with sexual assault allegations “should be taken seriously”.

“It should be thoroughly vetted. With every case the truth matters,” he continued, claiming Ms Reade’s story “has changed as it’s gone on”.

“And the truth of the case is nothing like this ever, ever happened,” Mr Biden added

The Biden campaign was working to squash the allegations before going up against the president in November. One point the former vice president has reiterated was his reputation among other former staffers throughout his career.

“People interviewed scores of my employees over my whole career. This is just totally, thoroughly, completely out of character and the idea that in a public place in a hallway, I would assault a woman? I promise you, it never happened,” Mr Biden said.

PBS News Hour interviewed 74 of Mr Biden’s former staffers, 62 of whom were women, to discuss if there was any possible standing to the allegations against their past employer.

None of the staffers said they ever were sexually harassed or abused by Mr Biden, nor did they ever hear rumours of possible behaviour occurring within the workplace, according to the news organisation.

New details about Ms Reade was also revealed during the 74 interviews, with former staffers claiming the woman was fired for poor job performance, not in retaliation for lodging complaints of sexual harassment, like Ms Reade claimed.

The workplace, overall, was described by these former staffers as a positive experience and most of them believed the allegations against Mr Biden were false.

Mr Biden has remained firm the allegations against him were false, but said the “truth matters” and “This is being vetted. It’s been vetted.”

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