Former television news anchor Megyn Kelly announced on Thursday that she has conducted the first on-camera interview with Tara Reade, almost a week after Joe Biden was directly confronted in another interview with Reade’s allegation of sexual assault, which he denied.
Reade has claimed Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993, when she was working as a staffer in his Senate office. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee for the 2020 election denied the claim last week. “I’m saying unequivocally, it never, never happened,” Biden told MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
Later on Thursday, Kelly released the first clips from the interview, in which she asked Reade if she thought Biden should drop out. “I wish he would,” Reade said. “He won’t, but I wish he would. I want to say, you and I were there, Joe Biden. Please step forward and be held accountable. You should not be running on character for the president of the United States.”
It has not yet been announced when and in what form the full interview will run, although it is expected to be broadcast soon. Biden spoke out further on Thursday afternoon, telling a Florida news channel: “Nothing ever happened with Tara Reade.”
Fox News was the only major news network who had offered to interview Reade on camera about her allegation of sexual assault against Biden. Once the Times published its piece, Reade said at least two networks – CNN and CBS – had reached out about a potential interview.
But the former Senate staffer has apparently rejected all those offers to sit down with Kelly, who is not currently affiliated with a network. In her interview with Reade, Kelly noted that Biden has previously said an accuser should be treated with “the presumption that at least the essence of what she is talking about is real”.
Kelly asked Reade if she thought Biden had treated her with that presumption. She said no and went on to criticize his surrogates for siding with the former vice-president in the matter. “It’s been stunning actually how some of his surrogates with the blue checks … have been saying really horrible things about me and to me on social media,” Reade said.
The former Senate staffer added that she has been hacked and received a death threat since accusing Biden of sexual assault. “Every person that maybe has a gripe against me – an ex-boyfriend or an ex-landlord or whatever it is – has been able to have a platform rather than me,” Reade said.
The interview came as new evidence emerged in support of Reade’s case. A 1996 court document obtained by the Tribune in San Luis Obispo, California, indicated that Reade told her ex-husband she was sexually harassed while working for Joe Biden in 1993.
The court declaration, written by Reade’s ex-husband while contesting a restraining order during their divorce, “does not say Biden committed the harassment nor does it mention Reade’s more recent allegations of sexual assault”, the Tribune reported. But it appears to be the first physical documentation to corroborate Reade’s account of sexual harassment.
Source: with agencies