The 2020 presidential campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden is officially in scramble mode.
This week, Tara Reade, who was a staff member for then-Senator Joe Biden in the 1990s, accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993. The Biden campaign has denied the allegation.
In her own words
Reade detailed her allegation against the leading Democratic presidential candidate on Wednesday in an interview with writer Katie Halper.
“We were alone, and it was the strangest thing,” Reade said. “There was no, like, exchange really, he just had me up against the wall.”
She continued: “His hands were on me and underneath my clothes. And then, he went, he went down my skirt and then up inside it, and he penetrated me with his fingers … and um … He was kissing me at the same time and he was saying something to me.”
According to Reade, her attempts to fend Biden off were unsuccessful.
“He got finished doing what he was doing and I, how I was pulled back and he said, ‘Come on man, I heard you liked me.’” Reade recalled. “And that phrase stayed with me because I kept thinking what I might have said. And I can’t remember exactly if he said ‘I thought’ or if ‘I heard.’ It’s like he implied that I had done this.”
Biden’s 2020 campaign team responded to the allegations in a statement to Fox News on Friday.
“Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims,” said Kate Bedingfield, the deputy campaign manager and communications director for Biden’s campaign. “We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false.”
Fox also reported that “a former executive assistant to then-Senator Biden also challenged the account, calling it ‘clearly false.'”
Is it true?
These allegations, as recent times have shown, can be quite hard to prove — or disprove, for that matter. Biden is certainly no stranger to sexual misconduct accusations as a large number of women last year came forward to accuse him of inappropriate touching. Reade was among these women, but with her latest interview, the allegation is far more graphic, going from “touching” to “penetrating.”
We’ll have to see how this one plays out. But for now, Biden and his campaign are denying it.