Biden campaign responds to Tara Reade interview: 'More and more inconsistencies arise'

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenRon Johnson signals some GOP senators concerned about his Obama-era probes On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE’s deputy campaign manager said Thursday that “more inconsistencies” are arising regarding the allegation of sexual assault raised by Biden’s former Senate staffer Tara Reade

“Women must receive the benefit of the doubt. They must be able to come forward and share their stories without fear of retribution or harm - and we all have a responsibility to ensure that,” deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said in a statement. “At the same time, we can never sacrifice the truth. And the truth is that these allegations are false and that the material that has been presented to back them up, under scrutiny, keeps proving their falsity.”

Reade discussed her allegations Thursday in her first televised interview since Biden publicly denied the allegations. 

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In her interview with Megyn Kelly, Reade called for Biden to end his campaign

“Please step forward and be held accountable,” Reade said. “You should not be running on character for president of the United States.”

Bedingfield accused Reade of shifting her story, noting differences in interviews conducted with Reade as well as with one of her friends between now and last year. 

Bedingfield pointed to different interviews Reade did with The Associated Press

In an interview with the newswire on Friday, Reade discussed her allegations that Biden sexually assaulted her 27 years ago when he was a senator and she worked in his office. Biden has denied the allegations. 

AP reported that in an interview from April of last year, when Reade and seven other women came forward with allegations that Biden made them feel uncomfortable with inappropriate displays of affection, Reade said she “wasn’t scared” that Biden was “going to take me in a room or anything.” 

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“It wasn’t that kind of vibe,” she told AP last year. 

Bedingfield characterized Reade’s interview last year of being “the complete opposite of the current allegation.” 

Bedingfield also cited a Vox report in which Laura McGann, a reporter, discussed her reporting on the allegations. 

McGann said that she spoke with a friend of Reade’s last year who said Biden had not assaulted Reade. 

“On the scale of other things we heard, and I feel ashamed, but it wasn’t that bad. [Biden] never tried to kiss her directly. He never went for one of those touches. It was one of those, ‘sorry you took it that way.’ I know that is very hard to explain,” the friend said.

McGann said she spoke with the same friend again who now told “a version of the story that matched Reade’s latest account.” 

 

Reade says she filed a complaint detailing the allegations of harassment against Biden with the Senate at the time. She told AP she didn’t explicitly accuse him of sexual assault or harassment because she was “too scared to write about the sexual assault.” 

Biden has called on the National Archives and the secretary of the Senate to search and release any records they might have, but both have said they aren’t authorized to do so. 

Biden, however, has declined to make his Senate records, which are being held at the University of Delaware, available for review.