U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in an interview this week that she is done addressing a sexual assault scandal impacting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign.
According to The Hill, Pelosi told MSNBC host Ari Melber on Tuesday that she would no longer be answering any questions regarding claims by Tara Reade, Biden’s former Senate aide, that he assaulted her in a Capitol hallway in 1993.
The former vice president has categorically denied the allegations, and Pelosi says that’s sufficient for her.
“A closed issue”
“I’m saying unequivocally, it never, never happened,” Biden said during a Friday appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, according to the Associated Press.
During Tuesday’s interview on the same network, Melber asked Pelosi if she considered the scandal “a closed issue” following Biden’s assertion days earlier that he had no recollection of the alleged incident.
“Well, it is for me,” she replied, according to The Hill. “I said I am proud to support Joe Biden for president. I believe him when he said it didn’t happen, but I also believed him when he said let them look into the records, and that’s what they should do.”
Pelosi capped off her response by stating that she is “not going to answer this question again.” Take a look:
“A vision for America”
Continuing her vocal support of the candidate, Pelosi also expressed on Tuesday “confidence that Joe Biden will be a great president of the United States” based on his integrity and vision for the future of America.
“Joe Biden is Joe,” Pelosi told MSNBC, according to a transcript from the House speaker’s office. “And again, he brings those values and his personal experience to a vision for America that is about fairness, and not trickle-down economics but bubble-up, from that kitchen table, from working families in our country.”
As the #MeToo movement grew, proponents called on society to “believe women” in cases of alleged sexual assault or misconduct. For his part, Biden has affirmed his stance that “believing women means taking the woman’s claim seriously when she steps forward, and then vet it,” according to Vox, and has said that in the case of Reade’s complaint, “the truth is the claims are false.”
Now, Pelosi is on the record sharing her apparent opinion that “Joe Biden is Joe,” his denial is sufficient, and that should be the end of the discussion. But will it be?