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  • The presumptive Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden.

    The presumptive Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden. | Photo: EFE

Published 30 April 2020
Opinion

The interview plan comes after some fellow Democrats urged Biden, 77, to directly respond to the accusation.

Presumptive Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden for the first time on Friday is set to personally address a former Senate aide’s accusation that he sexually assaulted her in 1993 - a claim that his campaign has denied.

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Biden is scheduled to be interviewed about the matter on the MSNBC program “Morning Joe,” the cable TV network said on Twitter on Thursday. Biden’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment about the interview. His campaign has said the incident never occurred but he has remained silent about it.

The interview plan comes after some fellow Democrats urged Biden, 77, to directly respond to the accusation.

A California woman named Tara Reade, who worked as a staff assistant in Biden’s U.S. Senate office from December 1992 to August 1993, has accused Biden in media interviews of pinning her against a wall in 1993, reaching under her skirt and pushing his fingers inside her.

For her part, the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, gave a forceful defense of Biden, highlighting the former vice president’s long history of supporting policies to stop the abuse of women.

“I have complete respect for the whole #MeToo movement,” Pelosi said at a news conference. “There is also due process and the fact that Joe Biden is Joe Biden.”

“He is the personification of hope and optimism and authenticity for our country - a person of great values,” Pelosi added.

Pelosi, who formally endorsed Biden for president on Monday, also noted that staffers who ran Biden’s Senate office have said they had no recollection of a sexual assault complaint.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the Business Insider news website published an interview with a former neighbor who said Reade told her in the mid-1990s that Biden had put his fingers inside her.

Reade, 56, was one of eight women who last year came forward to say Biden had hugged, kissed or touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable, though none accused him of sexual assault. Reade publicly accused him of the assault on a podcast in March.

Biden is set to challenge Republican President Donald Trump, 73, in the Nov. 3 U.S. election. Trump has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual assault and misconduct over the years, allegations he and his aides have denied.

“I think he should respond,” Trump said of Biden at a media briefing on Thursday. “It could be false accusations. I know all about false accusations.”


 

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