Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden denied the allegations of sexual assault by a former Senate staffer assistant Tara Reade. In a first direct response to the accusation of sexual assault in the early 1990s, Biden campaign released a statement on May 1 saying “They aren’t true. This never happened.”
The former Vice President of the United States walked a tightrope of listening to the allegations of sexual assault and calling for an appropriate inquiry while dismissing the claims altogether. Calling the details of allegations complicated, Biden said that women should be heard and not silenced when they step forward.
“Responsible news organizations should examine and evaluate the full and growing record of inconsistencies in her story, which has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways,” said the septuagenarian leader.
Reade, 56, worked as staff assistant during 1992-93 when Biden was a Senator for the US state of Delaware. She alleged that in 1993 the Democrat leader pushed her against the wall and put his hands underneath her clothes and asked her if wanted to go somewhere else. The former Senate staffer filed a criminal complaint on April 9, 2020, for being a victim of sexual assault but didn’t name Biden.
Later, Reade said in a tweet that the complaint was for “safety reasons only” because she was receiving online threats. Several women have accused Biden of inappropriate touch, hug or kiss, but this is the first time he was accused of a more serious crime like sexual assault.
The 77-year-old leader said that Reade claimed she had raised the issue with her supervisor and senior staffers from at the time but they have unequivocally denied it. He added that news organisations have talked with dozens of former staffers but have not found anyone who corroborated her allegations in any way.
“I believe being accountable means having difficult conversations, even when they are uncomfortable. People need to hear the truth,” said Biden.