Former vice president Joe Biden appeared on “Good Morning America” Tuesday and again denied that he ever sexually assaulted Tara Reade when she was a Senate staffer in the 1990s, saying it’s up to “responsible journalists” to investigate such claims.
ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos questioned Biden — the presumptive Democratic nominee — about his denial, as well as his previous statements that women with such accusations should be believed: “So, what do you say to Americans who believe Tara Reade and won’t vote for you because of it?”
“Well, that’s their right,” answered the longtime politician. “I think women should be believed. They should have an opportunity to have their case and stated, just forthrightly, what their case is, and it’s the responsibility of responsible journalists like you and everyone else to go out and investigate those.”
He went on, “The end of the day, the truth is the truth. That’s what should prevail. The truth is, this never happened. This never happened. I assure you, that’s the truth.”
Biden issued his first denial — along with his first real acknowledgment — of the accusations May 1 during an exclusive interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“I’m not going to question her motive … but I have a right to say, ‘Check out the facts,'” he said at the time. “Believing women means taking their claims seriously. In the end, in every case, the truth is what matters.”
Last year, Reade first told a local paper in Nevada County that Biden had inappropriately “put his hand on [her] shoulder and run his finger up [her] neck” when she worked in his Senate office and at the time specifically said he did not assault her. But in late March, Reade appeared on Katie Halper’s podcast to say that Biden, in 1993, had also pushed her up against a wall in a secluded area of the Capitol building, kissed her, reached under her skirt to penetrate her with his fingers, and then said “You’re nothing to me” after she pulled away.
A Biden campaign spokesperson said the accusations are “false” shortly after the release of the podcast episode last month. “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,” Kate Bedingfield, the deputy campaign manager and communications director for Biden’s campaign, said in a statement.
On April 27, Reade’s former neighbor said she told her about Biden’s alleged assault in the mid-’90s.
Watch Biden’s appearance on “Good Morning America” above.