Joe Biden’s campaign has spoken out over graphic sexual assault claims an ex-staffer has made.
‘Women have the right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims,’ Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director Kate Bedingfield said on Friday. ‘We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false.’
The statement comes in response to allegations made by Tara Reade, who has amplified previous statements in an explosive interview this week. She previously was among several women who said Biden was a bit too familiar with his physical actions, but now claims he sexually assaulted her in 1993 in his office on Capitol Hill. She was then working as an aide to US Senator Biden.
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The alleged incident occurred when Reade was asked to bring Biden his gym bag in his office.
“He greeted me, he remembered my name, and then we were alone. It was the strangest thing,” Reade said in a podcast interview with Katie Halper. “There was no like, exchange really. He just had me up against the wall.”
Reade said, “His hands were on me and underneath my clothes, and he went down my skirt and then up inside it and he penetrated me with his fingers and he was kissing me at the same time and he was saying some things to me.” She added that Biden asked if she wanted to “go somewhere else.”
“I pulled away, he got finished doing what he was doing,” Reade said. “He said: ‘Come on, man. I heard you liked me.’” She added that Biden said, “You’re nothing to me.”
Several women said last spring that Biden inappropriately touched them. Biden and his campaign have denied the accusations, but said then they would listen to any allegations or concerns.
Reade’s story is clouded by her support for Biden’s rival for the Democratic presidential nod, Sen. Bernie Sanders.