Tara Reade: Joe Biden's accuser says he should drop out of presidential election

‘Please step forward and be held accountable’

James Crump
Friday 08 May 2020 00:06
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Tara Reade responds to Joe Biden and says he should drop out of Presidential election

Tara Reade, who has accused the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993, has called for him to drop out of the 2020 race.

Ms Reade, who worked as Mr Biden’s aide in 1993, has accused the former vice president of sexually assaulting her, in various interviews in the last few weeks.

Mr Biden finally publicly acknowledged the claims last week, but told NBC’s Morning Joe host, Joe Scarborough, that it “never, never happened”.

During her first on-camera interview, Ms Reade told former Fox News anchor, Megyn Kelly, that Mr Biden should pull out of the election.

Ms Kelly asked her what she would tell Mr Biden if she could speak directly to him.

“I would say, you and I were there, Joe Biden, please step forward and be held accountable,” she replied. “You should not be running on character for the president of the United States.”

In 2018, during the senate hearings on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the former vice president said that sexual assault accusers need to be given the presumption of innocence.

“For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of 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’s been made worse or better over time,” he said.

During the interview with Ms Kelly, Ms Reade said that she did not believe that Mr Biden had afforded her that presumption.

“It’s been stunning actually, how some of his surrogates with the blue checks, have been saying really horrible things, about me and to me on social media,” she said.

“There’s a measure of hypocrisy with the campaign saying it’s safe. It’s not safe. All my social media has been hacked and my personal information has been dragged through.

“Every person that maybe has a gripe against me, an ex boyfriend or an ex landlord, whatever it is, has been able to have a platform, rather than me,” she added.

Ms Reade revealed to Ms Kelly that she received a death threat after she went public with her story, and accused Mr Biden’s campaign of hypocrisy, by dismissing her claims.

“His campaign, is taking this position of they want all women to be able to speak safely; I have not experienced that.”

In April, Ms Reade told CNN that when she worked for Mr Biden as an aide in 1993, he asked her to deliver a duffel bag to his office.

Ms Reade added that when she arrived, he “had me up against the wall; he used his knee to spread open my legs,” and “put his fingers inside me.” She alleges that after she pulled away, Mr Biden said: “Come on man. I heard — I thought you liked me.”

Ms Reade claimed that he then got angry with her and said “You are nothing to me. You are nothing,” but eventually held her by the shoulders and told her: “You’re OK. You’re fine.”​

In a written statement published before his Morning Joe interview, Mr Biden said: “Responsible news organisations should examine and evaluate the full and growing record of inconsistencies in her story, which has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways.”

Mr Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told CNN about the incident: “Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women.

“He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard – and heard respectfully,” she said.

“Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim: it is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”

The Independent has contacted Mr Biden’s team for comment.

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