Former Vice President Joe Biden Friday flatly denied allegations from a former Senate staffer who claims he sexually assaulted her in 1993. He issued a statement shortly before he was to appear on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to discuss the claims against him in an exclusive interview.
“I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago,” Biden said in a written statement released by his campaign, reports The Washington Post. “They aren’t true. This never happened.”
The former staff member, Tara Reade, claims that in 1993, while she was a staffer in his office, he inappropriately kissed and touched her, including penetrating her vagina with his fingers without consent.
"She has said she raised some of these issues with her supervisor and senior staffers from my office at the time," Biden added. "They -- both men and a woman -- have said, unequivocally, that she never came to them."
He added that news organizations have not found anyone of the fellow staffers that corroborated her allegations, and that Reade claims she filed a complaint in 1993, but there is no record of the complaint.
The National Archives, Biden added, is the only place where a record of a complaint could be found, and he asked that the Secretary of the Senate ask the Archive to provide any record of the report "she alleges she filed" and make the record public.
"Responsible news organizations should examine and evaluate the full and growing record of inconsistencies in her story," Biden said in his statement.
The statement and the scheduled interview marked the first time Biden himself has addressed Reade's claims, first made public in March, that Biden had assaulted her. Several members of Biden's presidential campaign team, however, have responded to media outlets to deny her claims.
The New York Times, in an extensive article on April 12, saying that it found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Biden. This week, after several Democrats pointed to the investigation as finding no evidence that the assault occurred, specified that it made "no conclusion either way."
Reade last month filed a report with the Washington, D.C., police department saying she was the victim of a sexual assault in 1993. However, she did not mention Biden by name, but has said that the report was about him and made to protect herself from potential threats.
President Donald Trump Thursday told reporters that the claims against Biden may be "false" but said he should respond to them.
"It could be false accusations. I know all about false accusations. I've been falsely charged numerous times, and there is such a thing," said Trump. He also referred to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose Senate confirmation hearings involved days of testimony accusing him of having assaulted a woman when he was younger.
Friday morning, before Biden's appearance on the MSNBC program, show co-anchor Mika Brzezinski detailed a long list of women who claim Trump had sexually assaulted or harassed them in the past. The show also played the "Access Hollywood" film clip that surfaced before the 2016 election, during which Trump is heard talking of grabbing and kissing women.
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