Former Senate aide Tara Reade, who has accused Joe Biden of sexual assault, called on the former Vice President to withdraw from the 2020 presidential race. In an interview with American journalist Megyn Kelly, Reade urged the presumptive Democratic nominee for presidential elections to “step forward and be held accountable”.
Reade, 56, worked as staff assistant during 1992-93 when Biden was a Senator for the US state of Delaware. In one of her most graphic and detailed account of the alleged sexual assault in the early 90s, Reade told Kelly that the Democratic leader pushed her against the wall and kissed her neck.
"So, he had one hand underneath my shirt, and the other had, I had a skirt on, and he went down my skirt and then went up and I remember I was up almost on my tippy toes," she said.
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.
After the interview aired, Biden’s campaign said in a statement Reade's story contained "inconsistencies" but added that women must receive “benefit of the doubt”. The former Vice President has already denied the allegations of sexual assault in a statement released on May 1 saying “They aren’t true. This never happened.”
The former Vice President of the United States has 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.
The 77-year-old leader said that Reade claimed she had raised the issue with her supervisor and senior staffers 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.