Maher to Tara Reade on timing of sexual assault allegation: ‘Why wait until Biden is our only hope?’
HBO’s Bill Maher on Friday night questioned the timing of Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden while arguing that Democrats backed themselves into a corner with their calls to “believe all women” amid the “Me Too” movement.
The progressive commentator weighed in as Reade’s allegation that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993, when she was a Senate staffer, continues to generate coverage following her on-camera interview with former NBC News and Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly this week.
“You waited 27 years. You think it couldn’t wait a few more months? That’s what I’d like to ask Ms. Reade. Why now?” Maher said during a segment on his show Friday night. “I’m not saying why not 27 years ago. I understand it can take victims years to come forward. I’m saying, why not before Super Tuesday? Why not last fall when we still had a dozen other candidates to choose from? Why wait until Biden is our only hope against Trump and then take him down?”
Maher also mocked The New York Times for its recommendation that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) investigate the claims against Biden.
“The New York Times is calling for the DNC to establish a truth panel on this. Truth panel, huh? Which part? Putin’s reverence for animals or how intoxicating he is to women?” the host continued, citing past reported remarks from Reade about Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Democrats are coalescing around the position that this accusation must be thoroughly vetted for the party to keep its credibility,” the host continued while broadcasting from his home in Los Angeles.
“Well, you know credibility certainly is a problem for the party on this issue,” Maher added, claiming Democrats “‘woke’ themselves into a corner” by embracing “believe all women,” often echoed during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s 2018 confirmation hearings.
“That was never tenable because believing everything doesn’t make you noble,” the host noted. “It makes you gullible and leaves us with the world where Republicans don’t care about this stuff. So it’s just a unilateral weapon that is used only against Democrats.”
“Trump rides the bus with Billy Bush. We throw Al Franken under it,” he added.
Franken, a former Democratic senator from Minnesota, resigned in January 2018 after being accused of sexual misconduct by several women, while Trump was caught on tape talking to Bush in 2005 about grabbing women by their genitals.
Biden has vehemently denied the allegations from Reade, though the former staffer has continued to discuss them publicly. During her interview with Kelly this week, Reade called on the former vice president to drop out of the White House race.
Maher began broadcasting from his home on April 3 amid stay-at-home orders in California due to the coromavirus pandemic.
In a statement obtained by The Hill, Tara Reade’s lawyer, Douglas Wigdor said, “Sadly, Bill Maher has decided to recycle old rape myths.”
“He ought to be ashamed, and I expect that those who believe in the #metoo movement will join me in condemning him for his hurtful words that unfortunately, will act as a deterrent to survivors that grapple with coming forward because of comments such as his,” Wigdor continued.
Updated 3:29 p.m.