Joe Biden set to address sex assault accusations
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by Michael Mathes
Joe Biden will break his silence Friday about a former aide’s allegations that he sexually assaulted her in the 1990s, according to the broadcaster set to interview the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
Biden’s morning appearance on MSNBC comes as he faces mounting pressure, including from President Donald Trump, to address the allegations, and as top Democrats rushed to the party flagbearer’s defense.
“Tomorrow in a @Morning_Joe exclusive, former Vice President @JoeBiden (will) respond for the first time to the recent allegation of sexual assault,” the cable television channel’s public relations team said Thursday on Twitter.
Biden’s campaign has denied the claim that he assaulted a 29-year-old staff assistant who worked in his US Senate office.
But the 77-year-old White House hopeful has yet to personally respond to the bombshell accusation by Tara Reade, now 56.
Trump, who himself faced more than a dozen accusations of sexual harassment and assault before he became president, said he knew little about the claims against Biden, even as his re-election team and Republican campaign operations aggressively push the controversy.
“I think that he should respond,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“It could be false accusations,” he added. “I know all about false accusations, I have been falsely charged numerous times.”
According to Reade, Biden assaulted her in 1993 in a hallway on Capitol Hill.
“He went down my skirt but then up inside it and he penetrated me with his fingers,” Reade said in a late March interview on the Katie Halper Show podcast.
Other women have accused Biden of touching or embracing them inappropriately in the past, and Reade’s initial claims were similar — and less severe than her most recent allegations.
The New York Times reported it interviewed Reade on multiple occasions, along with her friends and others who worked for Biden in the 1990s.
The paper said it uncovered no pattern of misconduct. (AFP)