Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) confessed in an interview published Sunday that she believes former Senate staffer Tara Reade’s allegation of sexual assault against Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden. Still, Omar made it clear that she intends to vote for Biden.
While Biden’s campaign has denied Reade’s allegation and Reade’s credibility has been called into question by media reports, her accusation has yet to go away. Making matters worse for the former vice president is the fact that a few prominent members of his party have openly stated that they believe his accuser even as they insist that they’ll still vote for him in November against President Donald Trump.
Omar: “I will vote for him”
Omar’s revelation caused a bit of consternation among the “anybody but Trump” crowd that has consistently overlooked Biden’s flaws in order to support his bid against President Trump in the upcoming election.
Some of those voters chastised her on social media over the weekend and accused her of undermining Biden’s candidacy by expressing her belief of Reade’s allegations.
In response, Omar, who was a vocal supporter of self-proclaimed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) before he dropped out of the Democratic primary, was quick to note that she still plans to vote for Biden in November.
“Believing survivors is consistent with my values,” Omar tweeted on Monday. “Yes, I endorsed against Biden and I didn’t pick him as our nominee. With that said, in this interview I did on May 6th, we talked about that and quotes aren’t always in context. I will vote for him and help him defeat Trump.”
Omar: “I do believe Reade”
The quote Omar was referring to came toward the end of a lengthy interview published by the U.K. Sunday Times on May 24. While fawning at times, the piece also provided some context to the many real scandals that have surrounded the congresswoman’s brief tenure in the public eye.
“I do believe Reade,” Omar told the Times, Breitbart reported. “Justice can be delayed, but should never be denied.”
Nor is Omar alone on this matter. Fellow “Squad”-mate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who was a Sanders surrogate in his primary campaign against Biden, told NPR in early May that she, too, believed Reade’s allegations of sexual assault, but would probably still vote for Biden even if she decided to withhold her endorsement.
AOC: “This is a messy moment”
“There have been investigative journalists that have corroborated certain aspects of her account — that is undeniable — [and] have raised questions about other aspects of her account,” Ocasio-Cortez said on NPR’s Morning Edition. “It certainly seems as though something has happened. I’m not sure. Frankly, this is a messy moment, and I think we need to acknowledge that — that it is not clear-cut.”
Later in the interview, Ocasio-Cortez decried how the issue has been politicized by Democrats who essentially ignored Reade’s account to focus on the political implications of how it damages Biden and potentially aids Trump.
In a sense, she is right, and the fact that both Omar and Ocasio-Cortez have openly expressed their belief of Reade’s allegation must be infuriating to Biden — the Trump campaign is certain to quote them against him as Election Day draws nearer.