Joe Biden accuser Tara Reade says he should drop out of the 2020 race

@megynkelly/Twitter
  • Tara Reade, who has accused Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her while she worked as a staffer in his Senate office in 1993, expressed her desire for Biden to drop out of the race in a new interview.
  • In a sit down with former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, Reade said that Biden "should not be running on character," and later added, "I wish he would" drop out.
  • Biden has denied the assault ever took place. He told MSNBC last week that "it never happened."
  • In a lengthy statement, Biden also called on the National Archives to release any record of a complaint Reade might have made, but the Archives confirmed to Insider they would not have such records. A complaint by Reade from 1993, if made, would be governed by Senate rules — which would prohibit their release.
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Tara Reade, the former Senate staffer for Joe Biden who recently accused him of sexual assault, has called for him to drop out of the race.

In a sit-down interview with Megyn Kelly published Thursday, Reade said that Biden "should not be running on character," and clarified that she wished he would drop out of the 2020 campaign.

"I want to say, you and I were there, Joe Biden, please step forward and be held accountable," Reade said. "You should not be running on character for the president of the United States."Advertisement

When Kelly followed up to ask if Reade wanted him to withdraw, she replied, "I wish he would. But he won't, but I wish he would."

In multiple interviews with Insider, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the podcaster Katie Halper — who first reported the allegations — Reade has said that in the spring or summer of 1993, Biden assaulted her while she was a staffer working in his Senate office.

Reade alleged that she met with Biden in a semiprivate hallway to deliver a duffel bag and once there, he pushed her against a wall, put his hand up her skirt and digitally penetrated her. When she rebuffed his behavior, Reade claims Biden told her "Aw man, I heard you liked me," and when she resisted, Biden told her, "You're nothing to me."
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A former neighbor of Reade's, Lynda LaCasse, told Insider that Reade had told her about an assault in 1995 or 1996. "I remember her saying, here was this person that she was working for and she idolized him," LaCasse said. "And he kind of put her up against a wall. And he put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside her. She felt like she was assaulted, and she really didn't feel there was anything she could do."

Reade has said she reported other forms of harassment she experienced to Biden's senior staff and Senate human resources, but not the alleged assault. When Reade complained about alleged harassment, she claims she faced career retaliation.She has called for Biden to open his Senate archives currently residing at the University of Delaware for possible records of her complaints, but Biden has said records would not be available there.Advertisement

Biden has emphatically denied the assault allegation, telling MSNBC last week that "it never happened."

The New York Times spoke to "several people" who worked in Biden's office at the time as part of their investigation into Reade's claim and reported that none recalled hearing about such an incident or witnessed similar behavior from Biden.

Instead, Biden has called for the National Archives to release any records that might shed light on a complaint made by Reade. But the Archives told Insider they would not have the documents, and that employee complaints filed to the Senate's Office of Fair Employment Practices in the 1990s would be controlled by Senate rules — which dictate that they couldn't be released until 2043.Advertisement

Last week, Biden wrote to the secretary of the senate asking for the office to search for and release any complaints; earlier this week the office rejected Biden's request.

In an earlier statement from the campaign, Biden's communications director Kate Bedingfield said that "women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims."

She added, "We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false."Advertisement

On Thursday, Reade told Kelly "There's a measure of hypocrisy of the campaign saying its safe, it's not been safe.

She said she had been attacked on social media and by Biden's supporters.

"His campaign is taking this position that they want all women to be able to speak safely," Reade said. "I have not experienced that."Advertisement

On Thursday, Biden's campaign released the following statement, denying the accusations and alleging "inconsistencies" with Reade's comments.

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