Biden denies assault
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday addressed an accusation of sexual assault for the first time since the story became public more than a month ago. Tara Reade, who worked for Biden during his second term as a U.S. senator from Delaware, claims he sexually molested her in 1993. “This never happened,” the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for president said in an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
Why was he silent until now? After news media remained mostly quiet about the accusation, The Washington Post editorial board and some #MeToo advocates pressured him to respond personally instead of through his campaign staff. Some of Reade’s friends and family also spoke out to try to corroborate her claims. Biden released a statement on the website Medium reinforcing his denial. He batted away calls to release records from his Senate years, currently held at the University of Delaware. Biden said those papers “do not contain personnel files.” Instead, he asked the National Archives to release any “record of the complaint [Reade] alleges she filed.” Biden said the National Archives would contain complaints from what was then called the Office of Fair Employment Practices.
Dig deeper: Listen to Culture Friday on The World and Everything in It for a comparison of the mainstream media’s coverage of Biden’s #MeToo scandal and the attention it gave accusations lobbed at Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process.
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