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Biden Denies Tara Reade’s Assault Allegation: ‘This Never Happened’ I6KIB
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    Biden Denies Tara Reade’s Assault Allegation: ‘This Never Happened’

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    Biden Denies Tara Reade’s Assault Allegation: ‘This Never Happened’ IlWna

    From The New York Times

    Katie Glueck, Lisa Lerer and Sydney Ember of The New York Times wrote:Trigger Warning: This article contains information and details about sexual assault and/or violence, which may be upsetting to survivors.

    Resources to help survivors of sexual assault include the National Sex Assault Hotline (800-656-4673), and The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) online hotline.


    Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Friday denied an allegation of sexual assault by a former Senate aide, Tara Reade, breaking a monthlong silence that had frustrated some Democratic activists as his presidential campaign grapples with issues of accountability and gender that are vitally important to many members of his party.

    Sounding emphatic and at times agitated in an interview on MSNBC, Mr. Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, tried to address concerns about Ms. Reade’s claim by saying that she had a right to be heard while also insisting that he had not assaulted her. “No, it is not true,” Mr. Biden said. “I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened.”

    Mr. Biden also called on the National Archives to release any existing complaint related to the allegation, even as he continued to oppose requests to release his Senate papers, which, he said, do not contain personnel records.

    The interview, as well as a statement posted on Medium, amounted to the Biden campaign’s most concerted effort yet to contain any possible danger for his candidacy just as the Democrat had turned his attention to unifying the party against President Trump. But Mr. Biden’s lack of response for so long was the latest example of caution in the Biden camp that worries some Democrats about the campaign’s agility in a general election sure to be heated and highly personal.

    The weeks of indecision about how to respond publicly to Ms. Reade highlighted, in part, the former vice president’s great reliance on female voters as a political base that he cannot afford to alienate, and the determination of Democrats to champion a zero-tolerance standard for abuse of women. Mr. Biden, in arguing that victims should be heard while trying to defend himself, also further sharpened the already stark distinctions between the pressures facing him and the president on matters of gender and sex.

    Mr. Trump has been accused of more than a dozen allegations of sexual harassment, assault and rape, and in the 2016 election confronted the release of a recording in which he was heard in his own voice boasting about groping women. Yet Mr. Trump has rarely agonized about how to address even allegations of violent physical misconduct: He has typically dismissed them out of hand, often attacking his accusers and usually receiving the vocal support of many members of his own party and the conservative media.

    Indeed, after his election Mr. Trump effectively made disbelief of the extensive claims against him a political litmus test for Republicans, holding personal grudges and sometimes actively punishing those who spoke out against him in 2016.

    Biden Denies Tara Reade’s Assault Allegation: ‘This Never Happened’ BB13tVb4

    Mr. Biden, meanwhile, has faced a single allegation of assault — Ms. Reade’s — that has flummoxed the former vice president and his campaign, unnerved Democrats about his electoral prospects and frustrated women’s groups that have long seen Mr. Biden as an ally and have more recently found themselves struggling to address the claim against him.

    A video statement released by his campaign a year ago, when Mr. Biden faced questions about touching that some women said made them uncomfortable, received mixed reviews from his party, with some Democrats worrying that he seemed stilted and defensive.

    Officials at the Republican National Committee jumped on Mr. Biden’s remarks Friday, with questions surrounding the release of his Senate papers at the University of Delaware emerging as a new flash point in the campaign.

    Under repeated questioning from Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Mr. Biden insisted that those papers would not contain information relevant to the allegation, saying that employment records are kept at the National Archives. Mr. Biden was also emphatic that such a search of the National Archives would yield no complaint.

    “I’m confident there’s nothing,” he said. “I’m not worried about it at all. If there is a complaint, that’s where it would be, that’s where it would filed. And if it’s there, put it out. But I’ve never seen it. No one has that I’m aware of.”

    A Biden aide said the campaign had not done a search of the National Archives records.

    Last year, Ms. Reade and seven other women came forward to accuse Mr. Biden of kissing, hugging or touching them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable. She did not publicly mention the assault at the time and only came forward with the allegation in late March. Several friends of Ms. Reade have said she told them about a traumatic sexual incident involving Mr. Biden. Nearly two dozen people who worked with Mr. Biden during the early 1990s, including many who worked with Ms. Reade, told The Times they had no recollection of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden — with Ms. Reade or any other woman.

    In 2017, Ms. Reade retweeted praise for Mr. Biden and his work combating sexual assault. In more recent months, her Twitter feed has featured support for Senator Bernie Sanders, whom she supported in the California primary. Ms. Reade says she has no political motives and does not want to be used by either party for partisan attacks.

    On MSNBC, Mr. Biden said he had not reached out to Ms. Reade, and that he was not aware of any other complaint that had been filed against him. He said he had “never asked anybody to sign” a nondisclosure agreement. “There are no N.D.A.s, period, in my case,” he said. “None.”

    In one long exchange, Ms. Brzezinski repeatedly pressed Mr. Biden on why he wouldn’t allow a search for any documents related to Ms. Reade at the University of Delaware. Mr. Biden flashed signs of annoyance and frustration, pushing back against Ms. Brzezinski on whether a search of those papers would find anything mentioning Ms. Reade. He repeatedly asserted that no personnel files were housed at the university, saying “they’re not there.” He suggested that releasing the papers in a campaign setting could lead to out-of-context attacks and jeopardize private conversations with officials, but appeared resistant to a search of Ms. Reade’s name.

    In his statement, Mr. Biden said that women who make allegations “should be heard, not silenced,” but their stories also warrant scrutiny. He went on to raise “the full and growing record of inconsistencies in her story, which has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways.”

    While Mr. Biden had remained quiet on the subject until Friday, a number of prominent Democrats had been pressed on the matter and sided with Mr. Biden, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, even as activists had started to urge the former vice president increasingly loudly to address the matter directly.

    A number of Mr. Biden’s potential running mates, including Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kamala Harris of California, as well as Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia House minority leader, have also voiced support for Mr. Biden, noting his work, for instance, on the Violence Against Women Act. And after his comments on Friday, Times Up Now, an organization dedicated to combating workplace harassment, offered implicit praise for Mr. Biden and much sharper criticism for Mr. Trump.

    Biden Denies Tara Reade’s Assault Allegation: ‘This Never Happened’ BB13sWSO

    Tina Tchen, the president and chief executive of the organization, said Mr. Biden “did what he had to do” in his remarks by taking the “allegations seriously” while respecting Ms. Reade’s right to speak out.

    “It is the kind of thing we need all presidential candidates to do when these allegations come forward,” she said. “Obviously, that hasn’t happened with the current president and we need fuller transparency on any allegations he has faced as well.”

    Mr. Trump has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by more than a dozen women, who have described a pattern of behavior that went far beyond the accusations against Mr. Biden. The president also directed illegal payments, including $130,000 to a pornographic film actress, Stormy Daniels, before the 2016 election to silence women about alleged affairs with Mr. Trump, according to federal prosecutors.

    Ms. Reade tried to get legal and public relations support from the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, an initiative established by prominent women in Hollywood to fight sexual harassment that’s an affiliate of Ms. Tchen’s group.

    The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which does not represent clients, gave her a list of lawyers with expertise in such cases. The fund does not typically assist survivors without legal representation. Ms. Reade said none took her case then and she still remains without a lawyer.

    Ms. Tchen said the Biden campaign had contacted her organization as part of an outreach effort to multiple groups. She advised the campaign to take Ms. Reade’s allegation “seriously,” adding that voters may never definitively know whether the incident occurred.

    “A lot of times these case don’t resolve like that,” she said. “You gotta look at the whole picture. I would assess these candidates on their character, the policies that they promote and put forward and the leadership abilities that they have.”

    Some Republicans have sought to paint Democrats as hypocrites, suggesting that they are holding Ms. Reade’s allegation to a different standard compared with the one they used for accusations of sexual assault against Brett M. Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 2018.

    At one point Mr. Biden grew visibly frustrated as Ms. Brzezinski asked him how his past comments on how sexual assault allegations should be viewed, citing his remarks about Christine Blasey Ford’s assault accusation against Justice Kavanaugh.

    Mr. Biden had said “you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.”

    Ms. Brzezinski asked, “Are women to be believed, are women to be believed, unless it pertains to you?”

    Mr. Biden closed his eyes and audibly exhaled.

    “Look, women are to believed, given the benefit of the doubt, if they come forward and say something that is, that they said happen to them, they should start off with the presumption they are telling the truth,” he said. “Then you have to look at the circumstances and the facts. And the facts in this case do not exist — they never happened.”

    In his statement, Mr. Biden sought to draw sharp distinctions with Mr. Trump.

    “We have lived long enough with a president who doesn’t think he is accountable to anyone, and takes responsibility for nothing,” he said. “That’s not me. I believe being accountable means having the difficult conversations, even when they are uncomfortable. People need to hear the truth.”

    If Mr. Biden did what he's been accused of, then he should be held accountable. He is right when he made this statement and criticized Donald Trump in saying, "I believe being accountable means having the difficult conversations, even when they are uncomfortable." Let's let the truth come out and let the chips fall where they may.

    Just Saying.
    Biden Denies Tara Reade’s Assault Allegation: ‘This Never Happened’ I6goy

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    Biden Denies Tara Reade’s Assault Allegation: ‘This Never Happened’ FBCTRBiden Denies Tara Reade’s Assault Allegation: ‘This Never Happened’ IEoIn
    Biden Denies Tara Reade’s Assault Allegation: ‘This Never Happened’ Nexads420

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