Former Senate aide Tara Reade said Thursday that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden should acknowledge her claim that he sexually assaulted her is true and quit the 2020 presidential race.
“You and I were there, Joe Biden. Please step forward and be held accountable. You should not be running on character for the president of the United States,” Reade said during her first on-camera interview since Biden appeared on MSNBC last week and denied her accusation for the first time on television.
Reade’s interview was conducted by former network anchor Megyn Kelly, The video was posted on Kelly’s Twitter account.
Asked if Biden should end his presidential bid, Reade said: “I wish he would but he won’t. I wish he would. That’s how I feel emotionally.” She added that it was “a little late” for Biden to apologize to her.
The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Reade’s remarks in the video.
Biden has denied Reade’s claim that when she worked for his Senate office in 1993, he pushed her against a wall in a Capitol Hill office building, put his hand up her skirt and sexually assaulted her with his fingers.
“This claim is simply not true, it did not happen,” Biden said last week. “Now, my knowledge that it isn’t true does nothing to shake my belief that women have to be able to be heard, and that all the claims be taken seriously.”
Reade said she would be willing to speak under oath and to be cross-examined, just as Christine Blasey Ford did when she described her allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the Senate in 2018.
Reade also said she would follow Ford’s lead in taking a polygraph test, though she suggested the onus was on Biden to do so.
“I’m not a criminal. Joe Biden should take the polygraph,” Reade said. “What kind of precedent does that set for survivors of violence? Does that mean we’re presumed guilty and we all have to take polygraphs? So I will take one if Joe Biden takes one but I am not a criminal.”
Reade’s allegations have shaken Democrats who are wrestling with their support of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault against women in the workplace and their support of Biden.
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