Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday said sexual-assault allegations by former Senate staffer Tara Reade are false, breaking his silence about an accusation that stems from the 1990s.
“I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago,” Biden said in a written statement before appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“They aren’t true. This never happened,” Biden said.
This week, the story got fresh attention after two of Reade’s associates said she previously told them about elements of her allegations. Biden — the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee — had previously said nothing about Reade’s allegation, though his campaign had denied it.
Democrats have defended Biden in recent weeks, with some saying he needed to address the allegation himself.
Republicans, meanwhile, have seized on the issue. The House GOP’s campaign arm on Thursday blasted out a series of emails questioning Democrats’ support for Biden.
President Donald Trump, when asked about the allegations at a Thursday event at the White House, said Biden could be the subject of “false accusations.”
“I’ve been falsely charged numerous times, and there is such a thing,” Trump said. Trump has denied several allegations of sexual misconduct.
Trump reportedly blew up at his top political advisers last week when they presented him with polling data that showed him trailing Biden in a series of battleground states. He later tweeted about “fake polls,” though he didn’t specify any states.
Biden’s campaign this week ramped up its effort to pick a running mate, naming four co-chairs for a vice presidential selection committee. Biden said in March that he would choose a woman to be his running mate.
Originally Published on MarketWatch
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