Joe Biden, the likely Democrat nominee for president, had an interview Friday where he flatly denied allegations that he sexually assaulted a Senate aide dating back into the early 1990s.
“I’m saying unequivocally, it never, never happened,” he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” And then called on the National Archives to release any documents about the allegation from Tara Reade.
Reade said Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 during an interview with Katie Halper, a podcast host. She told Halper that Biden greeted her and remembered her name. She said she was wearing a business skirt and no stockings.
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“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,” she said. Two sources have stepped forward to corroborate some details of the allegation.
Even before his appearance on MSNBC, his campaign has denied the allegations.
Biden and his supporters—like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton—have been criticized over their approach to the allegations leveled against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when compared to the former vice president.
Emma Green, a staff writer at The Atlantic, wrote that Biden “tiptoed around answers that could paint him as a hypocrite.” She pointed out that Biden stated “a number of times” during the Kavanaugh hearing that Christine Blasey Ford’s account “should essentially be treated as true.”
Green pointed to an interview with the ‘Today’ show where Biden said it takes courage “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’s talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts.”
Green pointed out that Biden called for an FBI investigation into Kavanaugh but not into allegations against him. The National Review pointed out that Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., also called for an investigation into Kavanaugh, but has endorsed Biden for president.
She said Biden “devoted his life to supporting women and has vehemently denied this allegation.” Her tone was different during the Kavanaugh hearing when she said “without the benefit of an FBI investigation… and without the benefit of corroborating witnesses being able to testify, it’s a sham hearing.”