Tara Reade says she felt ‘marginalized’, ‘discounted’ by Democrats who defended Biden

Greg Nash

Tara Reade, a former Senate aide who has accused former Vice President Joe Biden of sexual assault, said she felt “discounted” and “smeared” by the responses to her allegations from female Democratic politicians she said she once admired. 

“I just— I’m stunned. …They didn’t just say, ‘Oh, we’re standing with Joe Biden until we hear more.’ They just discounted me. They marginalized me. They said they didn’t believe me. I can’t tell you,” Reade recounted to Buzzfeed News in a story published Thursday.

Reade came forward last month with allegations that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 while she was an aide for the then-Delaware senator.

Her claim began to pick up traction when a former neighbor of Reade’s came forward to say that former aide told her about the allegation in the mid-1990s, marking the first time the accusation was corroborated on the record. 

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday endorsed Biden for president via livestream saying, “I am thrilled to be part of your campaign — to not only endorse you but to help highlight a lot of the issues that are at stake in this presidential election.”

Two other powerful Democratic women, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Stacey Abrams — a former gubernatorial candidate in Georgia and potential running mate for Biden — have backed the former vice president’s presidential bid.

Abrams has defended Biden with regard to the allegations, telling CNN, “I know Joe Biden, and I think he’s telling the truth and this did not happen,” she said. 

Gillibrand has previously said that she stands by the candidate.  

Reade, who said she considers herself  a “lifelong Democrat” said she felt “marginalized,” “smeared” and “discounted” by them.

“I cried for a while because they’re important in my life. They’ve been figures that I looked up to,” she said. 

The Biden campaign has denied the allegations. 

Biden has yet to address the allegation himself, but is scheduled to appear on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday  where he is expected to respond to the recent media coverage. 

This report has been updated at 9:19 p.m.

Tags election 2020 Hillary Clinton Joe Biden Kirsten Gillibrand Tara Reade

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