A New York Times spokesperson said Wednesday that former Vice President Joe Biden’s White House campaign twisted their reporting on Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations and claimed an exoneration that the paper never suggested.
In a statement to BuzzFeed, who first reported on the talking points, the Times said the Biden campaign’s characterization of its reporting was “inaccurate.” The talking points claim the paper ruled that Reade’s story “did not happen,” which the statement rebuts: “Our investigation made no conclusion either way,” it states.
A New York Times spokesperson says Biden campaign talking points “inaccurately” suggest that the Times investigation found that Tara Reade’s allegation “did not happen.” Response to this scoop from @rubycramer @RosieGray https://t.co/ZUD6f2WSEE pic.twitter.com/LNaHvH0ZxF
— Jonathan Easley (@JonEasley) April 29, 2020
BuzzFeed reported Wednesday while Biden has yet to publicly address Reade’s allegation, his campaign has urged surrogates to push back on reports by simply saying they “did not happen.”
“Biden believes that all women have the right to be heard and to have their claims thoroughly reviewed,” the talking points read, according to the news outlet. “In this case, a thorough review by the New York Times has led to the truth: this incident did not happen.”
Reade has alleged that Biden assaulted her while the two were in the basement of a Capitol Hill facility in 1993.
“He was whispering to me and trying to kiss me at the same time, and he was saying, ‘Do you want to go somewhere else?’” Reade recounted in a recent interview with the Associated Press. “I remember wanting to say stop, but I don’t know if I said it out loud or if I just thought it. I was kind of frozen up.”
Reade said she moved away from Biden, who then replied: “come on, man, I heard you liked me.”
Earlier April, Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, vehemently denied the allegation: “Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women. He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully. Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim: it is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”
The Biden campaign’s effort to coordinate a denial of Reade’s allegations comes after Lynda LaCasse, a former neighbor to Reade, said the two discussed her alleged allegation against Biden between 1995 and 1996.
“I remember her saying, here was this person that she was working for and she idolized him,” LaCasse told Business Insider in an interview published Monday. “And he kind of put her up against a wall. And he put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside her. She felt like she was assaulted, and she really didn’t feel there was anything she could do.”
“She was crying,” LaCasse continued. “She was upset. And the more she talked about it, the more she started crying. I remember saying that she needed to file a police report.”
“I don’t remember all the details,” she added. “I remember the skirt. I remember the fingers. I remember she was devastated.”
LaCasse, a Biden supporter, is the first person to corroborate Reade’s claims.