The Washington Examiner revealed Saturday that the Associated Press interviewed Tara Reade in 2019, but declined to publish a story from the interviews because the outlet lacked corroborating evidence. Reade has said then-Sen. Joe Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993, when she was on his payroll, according to NPR.
In her 2019 interview with the AP, Reade didn’t mention the alleged assault by the now-Democrat presidential candidate, but said he touched her neck, shoulders, and hair in a way that made her “uncomfortable,” the Examiner reported.
Reade was one of eight women who came forward in 2019 with claims that Biden had touched them against their wishes or used words that made them feel uneasy, according to the AP.
In the AP interviews, Reade mentioned that she filed a complaint about Biden’s behavior, but the AP could not find any evidence of the complaint. Reade now thinks the complaint might be in archived documents Biden donated to the University of Delaware, but Biden denies that there was ever a complaint from Reade, Fox News reports.
When the AP did finally publish a story about Reade’s allegations and their previous interviews with her last week, they noted in the headline that any mention of sexual “harassment” or “assault” was absent from the complaint, citing Reade’s statements to them that she didn’t use those exact words.
But according to the Daily Wire, Reade took issue with the headline, calling it “false” in a tweet. She said that while it’s true that she didn’t use those words, she did say that she felt “uncomfortable” and that there was “retaliation” after she refused to go along with his behavior.
The original headline, however, made it sound like she had not mentioned harassing behavior in the complaint, which she says she did, in other words. Later, the AP changed the headline and used Reade’s own phrasing: “Reade: ‘I didn’t use sexual harassment’ in Biden complaint.”
The AP article also notes that Reade didn’t accuse Biden of sexually assaulting her in 2019 “because she was scared of backlash, and was still coming to terms with what happened to her.” Reade first accused Biden of sexual assault in late March, according to The Hill, but her accusation was largely ignored by mainstream press outlets until last week when Biden was finally pressured to address it.
Biden denies allegation
On Friday, Biden gave an interview to MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski in which he denied the allegation, saying the assault “never, never happened,” according to a transcript from The New York Times.
Brzezinski asked many tough questions of Biden, but she did not ask him about several corroborating witnesses, all of whom say that Reade told them about the assault right after it happened or over a period of several years afterward, the Examiner noted Saturday.
Biden also refused to call for a search of Reade’s name in his archived records at the University of Delaware to see if a complaint exists there. Instead, he suggested in the Brzezinski interview that seekers look at his records in the National Archives for a complaint.
While it is clear that the media, even the Associated Press, has been trying to protect Biden from scrutiny, recent details have raised more questions than answers about what actually happened with Reade in 1993. Could the press and Democrats finally be throwing Biden under the bus so they can replace him with a stronger nominee?