CNN’s Don Lemon addressed former Vice President Joe Biden’s sexual assault allegation Tuesday in an interview with former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
Abrams is one of Biden’s vice president hopefuls and was grilled by Lemon about the allegation against Biden on “CNN Tonight.” Lemon is one of the only hosts from legacy outlets to ask a potential vice president about Biden’s allegations.
Former senate staffer Tara Reade accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s. Biden has denied the allegation through a spokesperson, but has yet to address the allegation himself.
“As someone who wants to be his vice president, I think it’s important that we speak about something that’s in the news now,” Lemon said. “CNN has now spoken on the record with her former neighbor who says Reade told her about the allegation within a few years of the alleged incident.”
“Biden’s campaign says untrue, never happened. Is this a credible allegation?” Lemon asked.
Abrams stood by the former vice president in her response. Abrams said that although “women deserve to be heard” and “listened to,” she thinks that the “allegations have to be investigated by credible sources.”
The vice presidential hopeful then mentioned a New York Times investigation published April 12, 2020 that deemed Reade’s allegation to be “not credible.” The NYT claimed to have done a thorough investigation, but more evidence has surfaced in the past two weeks that corroborates Reade’s allegation.
Abrams continued on to repeat talking points that the Biden campaign allegedly has distributed about the matter, according to Buzzfeed News. The talking points reportedly advise people to say that Reade’s allegation “did not happen.”
“I believe Joe Biden,” Abrams added. “I believe that he is a person who has demonstrated that his love of family, his love of our community, has been made perfectly clear through his work as a congressional leader and as an American leader. I know Joe Biden and I think he’s telling the truth and that this did not happen.”
Lemon continued with his questioning and pointed out that Abrams’ comments appear to be a double standard. He noted a 2018 tweet from Abrams where she wrote that “it is shameful that [Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Brett] Kavanaugh’s nomination is being rushed forward” following Christine Blasey Ford’s “courageous and compelling testimony.”
After the courageous and compelling testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford yesterday, it is shameful that Kavanaugh’s nomination is being rushed forward.
I believe women, and I believe survivors of violence always deserve to be supported and to have their voices heard. https://t.co/rtT1PQr4Zq
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) September 28, 2018
“Are you applying a different standard now?” Lemon wondered.
Abrams pushed back on Lemon’s question, saying “not at all.” She said that Reade “deserved to have her story listened to and investigated” and suggested there was a difference with Ford’s accusation. Abrams said “there was no investigation” and “a rush to move the conversation forward” to prevent an investigation in Ford’s case.
“So you said you’ve heard her, you’ve heard enough, you don’t believe her, you believe Joe Biden,” Lemon summed up. (RELATED: Second Hopeful VP Doesn’t Believe Biden’s Accuser)
Abrams reiterated her past comments about the NYT investigation and said that she believed “the Biden I know.” She added that she thinks “he will make women proud” as well as America, and did not agree that Biden should address this situation better.
“I believe his campaign has been very clear. And I believe that that is the approach that they intend to take and I support the approach,” Abrams said. “Again, we don’t want women to ever be afraid to come forward, but we also have to recognize that allegations should be investigated and that those investigations need to be borne out.”