Former Vice President Joe Biden once said to always assume a woman who alleges sexual assault is telling the truth. So why doesn’t he believe his accuser?
That’s what some are wondering after Tara Reade, who was a staffer of Biden’s in the ’90s, opened up about her sexual assault allegations against the presidential candidate in a podcast interview with Katie Halper recently.
According to the interview, Biden made uncomfortable remarks toward her, reached under her skirt, pinned her against the wall, and tried to digitally penetrate her.
“For me, it was like, everything shattered. I looked up to him, he was like my father’s age, he was this champion of women’s rights, in my eyes,” she told Halper. “I couldn’t believe it was happening. It was surreal.”
She also recounts being asked to serve drinks because of her “attractive legs.”
Biden played a crucial role in getting sexual violence taken more seriously on college campuses during the Obama administration. He also came out in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, saying, “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.”
And now, in light of Reade’s graphic account of her allegations, people couldn’t help but dig up those past comments.
Biden has also long been criticized for his role in how the Anita Hill trials were handled.
While he voted against Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court nomination, he was the Senate Judiciary chair during the trials and failed to protect Hill against being grilled by an all-male committee. He also could have brought in additional witnesses who supported Hill’s claims but did not.
In 2019, after he joined the race to the White House, Biden was questioned about the trials on Good Morning America.
“As the committee chairman, I take responsibility that she did not get treated well. I take responsibility for that,” Biden said at the time.