• Thomas Parker

Joe Biden denies sexual assault allegation from former staffer

Updated: May 22, 2020

Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden addressed a sexual assault charge from a former member of his staff for the first time on Friday, issuing a denial of Tara Reade's claim.

"It is not true, I am saying unequivocally it never never happened and it didn't," Biden said in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "It never happened."

Biden has previously said that women who come forward with accusations of sexual assault should be believed, but has now altered his stance when he himself is the one being accused. "In every case, the truth is what matters," Biden said.

"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 said.

Tara Reade also claims that she filed a personnel complaint with the Senate alleging she faced harassment while working for Biden, but that her complaint to the Senate did not specifically accuse Biden of assault.

There is some corroboration of Reade's sexual assault claim, however. In 1993, Reade said that her mother called into CNN's "Larry King Live" and mentioned her daughter's story; that clip has surfaced. Additionally, multiple people who know Reade claim that she told them about the assault shortly after it occurred years ago.

Off the campaign trail and largely sequestered in his Delaware home for more than a month, Biden had not been asked about the allegation in any of the 10 national and local television interviews he’s conducted since mainstream media outlets reported it.

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