Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Friday denied that he sexually assaulted a former Senate aide, addressing the allegation publicly for the first time under increasing pressure from his party to speak about it.
“I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago,” Biden said in a statement released by his campaign. “They aren’t true. This never happened.”
Biden echoed his denial on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” shortly after the statement was released. “No, it is not true,” he said. “It never, never happened.”
Biden also called on the National Archives to release any record of a complaint that the former aide, Tara Reade, says she filed. “If there was ever any such complaint, the record will be there,” he said.
Reade has said that she filed a complaint with a congressional human resources or personnel office but did not remember the exact name. Her complaint dealt only with the alleged harassment, not the assault, she said.
The Post could find no record of the complaint, and Reade said she didn’t have a copy.
Does Biden survive?
Charlie Sykes (The Bulwark) thinks so.
Does Biden survive this? I think he does.
Here’s why: (1) There are too many problems with Reade’s account, (2) his denial was unequivocal and despite some shaky moments he survived the grilling on live TV, (3) the accusation of sexual assault doesn’t seem consistent with Biden’s conduct (which is creepy but not rapey) (4) Democrats continue to rally around him, (5) the news cycle is likely to move past this pretty quickly and finally, because (6) Trump’s record is so much worse.