'Never happened': Biden denies Reade's sexual assault allegation, calls on National Archives to release records

'Never happened': Biden denies Reade's sexual assault allegation, calls on National Archives to release records
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Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday, May 1, broke his silence on the sexual allegations leveled against him by his former staffer Tara Reade, saying "this never happened." The presumptive Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential race personally addressed the claims, denying the allegations nearly over a month after Reade publicly accused him of assault.

"They aren’t true. This never happened," Biden, in a written statement released by his campaign, said. "While the details of these allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault are complicated, two things are not complicated. One is that women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced. The second is that their stories should be subject to appropriate inquiry and scrutiny."

The Democratic frontrunner, in the statement, called for the secretary of the Senate to ask the National Archives to "identify any record of the complaint she alleges she filed and make available to the press any such document. If there was ever any such complaint, the record will be there."

Biden, in his denial, also emphasized that the Senate staffers Reade claims she complained to have said that they have no knowledge of the incident she talked about. The former vice president said that the archives are the relevant entity in this case, as the University of Delaware, which has many of his Senate papers, does not have "personnel files."

The Democratic leader is reportedly expected to appear for an interview on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' and discuss the sexual assault allegations against him. Although Biden's campaign had denied the allegations previously, Biden had been silent on the issue until Friday. The Democrat's response comes amid increasing scrutiny on the mainstream media for not questioning him on the claims for weeks.

Biden's statement also follows a major development in the case after a clip from 'Larry King Live' in 1993 resurfaced last week, featuring a woman who purportedly was Reade’s mother, calling to discuss "problems" her daughter faced with a "prominent senator." The mother has since died. Two more people supported Reade's claims on Monday, April 27, including Lorraine Sanchez, a former colleague of Reade.

In interviews with The Intercept, the duo joined Reade's brother and another friend, saying that Reade had shared the incident when it occurred in 1993.

Reade accused Biden, her former boss when he was a Senator, of cornering her in a Senate office and assaulting her in 1993. The story, however, has changed over time.

Biden's campaign has consistently denied all allegations against him, with his campaign's deputy campaign manager and communications director, Kate Bedingfield, telling Fox News: "Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims. We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false."

It was reported on Wednesday, April 29, that the Biden campaign had planned to use "talking points" citing a New York Times report to exonerate the 2020 Democratic frontrunner. 

“Biden believes that all women have the right to be heard and to have their claims thoroughly reviewed. In this case, a thorough review by the New York Times has led to the truth: this incident did not happen," the talking points state. The outlet, however, distanced itself from the alleged campaign strategy, stating that their report had not proven that the incident did not occur.

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