Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday for the first time publicly denied allegations from a former staffer who says the then-senator sexually assaulted her.
“They aren’t true,” Biden said. “This never happened.”
Tara Reade, who managed the intern program for Biden’s Senate office in 1993, last month alleged publicly that Biden had sexually assaulted her in an empty corridor on Capitol Hill. She previously had accused him of inappropriate touching.
In a statement, and then in a lengthy and at-times uncomfortable interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, Biden pointed to what he described as “inconsistencies” in Reade’s story, saying that her telling of what happened had “changed repeatedly in both small and big ways.”
Reade has said that she notified three of Biden’s senior aides about his touching at the time: Then-chief of staff Ted Kaufman, adviser Dennis Toner and Marianne Baker, an executive assistant. All three have gone on the record to say that Reade did not confront them about the issue.
“She has said she raised some of these issues with her supervisor and senior staffers from my office at the time,” Biden said in the statement. “They — both men and a woman — have said, unequivocally, that she never came to them and complained or raised issues. News organizations that have talked with literally dozens of former staffers have not found one — not one — who corroborated her allegations in any way. Indeed, many of them spoke to the culture of an office that would not have tolerated harassment in any way — as indeed I would not have.”