Tara Reade, the woman who has accused Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her when she served as his staffer, called on the Democrat to drop out of the presidential race on Thursday.
“I wish he would [withdraw], but he won’t,” Reade told Megyn Kelly in an exclusive on-camera interview, the Washington Examiner reported. “But I wish he would. That’s how I feel emotionally.”
Reade: Drop out, Joe
Reade has accused Biden of assaulting her in 1993, when she was working for him as a Senate staffer, as NPR reports. Biden has denied the allegation, and Democrats and much of the media have largely struggled to ignore it, straining their commitment to supporting alleged victims of sexual assault — and opening them up to searing charges of hypocrisy.
But the scandal got a little harder to wish away on Thursday when Reade sat down with former Fox and former NBC host Megyn Kelly for her first interview since making the charge, as the Examiner reported. Asked by Kelly what she would say to Biden, Reade said that it’s a “little late” for apologies, but she wishes Biden would accept accountability for the alleged assault — and drop out.
“I want to say, you and I were there, Joe Biden. Please step forward and be held accountable. You should not be running on character for the president of the United States,” Reade told Kelly, according to the Examiner.
The pressure was upped again Thursday when Reade retained a prominent New York law firm that represented victims of Harvey Weinstein, Wigdor LLP.
Reade has said that she would take a polygraph, if Biden will, according to CNBC. Reacting Thursday, Biden reiterated that “nothing ever happened with Reade,” CNBC noted.
“Stunning” harassment, hypocrisy
Reade also spoke to Kelly about the “hypocrisy” of Biden’s campaign and the “stunning” online harassment she has experienced from some of his supporters, The Hill noted. Reade was a supporter of Bernie Sanders before making the accusation, and some critics have focused on social media posts she made praising Vladimir Putin to question her motives.
“The whole thing with being called a Russian agent, that in particular, that incites people, I got a death threat from that because I was being called a traitor to America,” Reade told Kelly, according to The Hill. “And these are serious things and his campaign is taking this position that they want all women to be able to speak safely. I have not been able to experience that.”
Take a look at a clip of Reade’s interview:
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) May 7, 2020
A party divided
Reade’s allegation has divided the left, with some saying that she’s believable and others not. Shockingly, some Democrats have even said that they’ll support Biden despite believing her.
Meanwhile, Biden has won endorsements from a train of high-profile party elites, including Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who have both spoken to his good character and experience. Pelosi, who played a role in tarring now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his contentious fall 2018 confirmation hearings, has made clear that she is displeased with the scandal and has no interest in being asked about it, calling the Reade controversy a “closed issue.”
But how much longer can Biden keep holding out?