Biden to Break Silence on Tara Reade Sexual Assault Allegation on Morning Joe Friday


Presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden will appear on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday to address the allegation by his former Senate staffer Tara Reade that he sexually assaulted her in 1993. This will mark the first time Biden has spoken about the charge by Reade that he pinned her against a wall, put a hand in her blouse and forced his fingers inside her when she was tasked with delivering a gym bag to Biden at a Senate office building. Reade recently filed a police report in D.C., but did not file charges when the alleged assault occurred. D.C. police say the case, which was filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations, is inactive. Reade says she lodged a written sexual harassment complaint with a Senate personnel office at the time.

Biden’s appearance was announced by MSNBC Thursday:

“Tomorrow in a @Morning_Joe exclusive, former Vice President @JoeBiden joins @JoeNBC, @morningmika & @WillieGeist to respond for the first time to the recent allegation of sexual assault.”

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Morning Joe airs live between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Politico reported Joe Scarborough was chosen for the interview because, “according to those familiar with Biden’s thinking, the candidate has a friendly relationship with the host, Joe Scarborough.”

Biden spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield issued a statement on April 12 denying Reade’s charge (via Politico).

“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women,” Bedingfield said in the statement. “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.”

Several people have said Reade told them about the alleged assault at the time. Reade says she told her now-deceased mother about the assault and that she called in to Larry King Live to anonymously talk about her daughter’s situation without getting into the details. Video of that call was recently brought to light by the Media Research Center:

Reade spoke about the alleged assault by Biden in an interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! on March 31 (excerpt):

…TARA READE: I actually tried to tell the story to some extent in 1993, in the sense that I wanted to talk about it, but I was too afraid. My mother had encouraged me to file a police report, and I did not, and I should have. So I filed a sexual harassment claim, where just I filled out a paper and then did not hear back.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you give us the circumstances, how you ended up — what was the day, how you ended up alone with Joe Biden? Explain what happened that day.

TARA READE: I was approached by my supervisor. She handed me a gym bag and said, “Hurry, Joe wants this, so get it to him. He’ll meet you down towards the Capitol.” And I went down the stairs, and I don’t remember exactly where I was, because there’s connections between the Russell Building and all of that and the corridors, but we were in a semi-private location. It wasn’t a room. It wasn’t, you know, the Russell Office Building — I mean, in his office. It was down in the corridors. And I handed him the gym bag.

And then he — it was one, as I described, fluid moment. He was talking to me, and he said some things that I don’t recall. And I was up against the wall. And he — I remember the coldness of the wall. And I remember his hands underneath my blouse and underneath my skirt, and his fingers penetrating me as he was trying to kiss me and I was pulling away. And he pulled back, and he said, “Come on, man. I heard you liked me.” But he was angry. It was like a tight voice. And he tended to smile when he was angry. And he isn’t like the Uncle Joe like everybody talks about now. He was younger. He was my dad’s age at that time and very strong. And he looked insulted and angry. And I remember feeling like I had done something wrong when he said that statement. And then I was standing there when he said — he was still near me. He said — pointed his finger and said, “You’re nothing to me. You’re nothing.” And he walked away.

And I don’t remember exactly where I went after. I think I went to the restroom to clean up, but I don’t remember precisely. The next memory I have is sitting on the cold stairs, on the Russell Building back stairs, where the big windows are. And I remember just my whole body shaking. And I remember knowing that — knowing that I had made him angry and that my career was probably over. And I didn’t comply. And I didn’t comply when I was asked to serve drinks at a cocktail party for donors, because, apparently, Joe Biden said, according to a legislative staffer, that I had pretty legs, and he thought I was pretty, and I should serve the drinks. And my supervisor had encouraged me to do so, and I did not. So, sitting on those stairs, the reality hit me.

The next thing I remember was that night and talking to my mom, and she was like, “You need to file a police report. It’s a sexual assault.” And I didn’t think of it as sexual assault, and I didn’t really understand. And I was trying to just get over the shock of it, because I looked up to him. He was supposed to be a champion of women. And I was so thrilled to be at that office and so honored, and it shattered my life and changed the trajectory of my whole career and life. And I lost my job after I complained, and I was fired……





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