Joe Biden’s (D) campaign on Thursday attacked the presumptive nominee’s accuser, Tara Reade, stating that women “must receive the benefit of the doubt” but refraining from offering such to the former Senate staffer and her allegations, calling them “false.”
“As someone who committed himself to changing the culture surrounding violence against women in this country, Vice President Biden knows it is paramount that women should come forward and be heard respectfully,” Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said in a statement.
“But it is also the duty of the press to base their assessment of claims on careful and exhaustive review of the facts. And an inescapable fact in the case of these false allegations is that more and more inconsistencies keep emerging,” she continued, claiming that Reade’s remarks in an Associated Press interview last year. — quoting her stating, “I wasn’t scared of him, that he was going to take me in a room or anything. It wasn’t that kind of vibe.” — is the “complete opposite of the current allegation, first made in March of this year.”
Bedingfield also appealed to a Vox story which noted that the “anonymous friend who now backs Reade’s current allegation,” told a “very different story last year about Reade’s experience” in describing the way Biden purportedly touched her.
“Every day, more and more inconsistencies arise,” she continued, stating that “women must receive the benefit of the doubt.”
“They must be able to come forward and share their stories without fear of retribution or harm — and we all have a responsibility to ensure that,” the deputy campaign manager continued.
“At the same time, we can never sacrifice the truth. And the truth is that these allegations are false and that the material that has been presented to back them up, under scrutiny, keeps proving their falsity,” she concluded:
Joe Biden's deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield has released a new statement about Tara Reade, and what she says are "more and more inconsistencies" that come up every day.
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/DSi1R6XrzT
— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) May 7, 2020
Reade worked in Biden’s Senate office in the early 1990s. In March, she accused the former vice president of pressing her up against a wall and kissing her during her time as a Senate staffer.
“It happened all at once, and then … his hands were on me and underneath my clothes,” Reade told New York City blogger Katie Halper:
And then he went down my skirt and then up inside it. And he penetrated me with his fingers, whatever. And he was kissing me at the same time and he was saying something to me. He said several things and I can’t remember everything [that] he said. I remember a couple of things. I remember his saying, first, like as he was doing it, ‘Do you want to go somewhere else?’ and then him saying to me, when I pulled away, he got finished doing what he was doing and I, how I was pulled back and he said, ‘Come on man, I heard you liked me.’ That phrase stayed with me because I kept thinking what I might have said. And I can’t remember exactly if he said ‘I thought’ or if ‘I heard.’ It’s like he implied that I had done this.
Reade sat down for an interview with Megyn Kelly, released Thursday, and detailed the intolerance she has experienced since stepping forward with her allegations:
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) May 7, 2020
Reade said in part:
No, it’s been stunning, actually, how some of his surrogates with the blue checks that have been saying really horrible things about me and to me on social media. He hasn’t himself, but there’s a measure of hypocrisy with the campaign saying it’s safe. It’s not been safe. All my social media’s been hacked, all my personal information has been dragged through.
Every person who maybe has a gripe against me, an ex-boyfriend or an ex-landlord or whatever it is, has been able to have a platform, rather than me, talking about things that have nothing to do with 1993. Even the whole thing about being called a Russian agent, that in particular. That incites people. I got a death threat from that because they thought I was being a traitor to America.
“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 experienced that,” she said.
Reade also told Kelly that she would “absolutely” go under oath.
A San Luis Obispo County court filing, uncovered by The Tribune on Thursday, shows that Reade “told her ex-husband she was sexually harassed while working for Joe Biden in 1993,” although it “does not say Biden committed the harassment nor does it mention Reade’s more recent allegations of sexual assault,” as reported by the paper.
Reade’s ex-husband, Theodore Dronen, wrote in the declaration that Reade informed him of “a problem she was having at work regarding sexual harassment, in U.S. Senator Joe Biden’s office.”