Tara Reade called on former Vice President Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race in an exclusive interview with journalist Megyn Kelly.
Reade has accused Biden of sexually assaulting her when she worked as a Senate staffer in the early 1990s. The former vice president denied the allegations publicly on May 1, and Reade spoke with Kelly in her first on-air interview since Biden’s official denial.
“I wanna say, ‘you and I were there, Joe Biden,'” Reade said in a clip of the interview published Thursday on Twitter by Kelly. “Please, step forward and be held accountable. You should not be running on character for the President of the United States.”
“I wish he would [withdraw]. But he won’t, but, I wish he would. That’s how I feel emotionally.”
MK EXCLUSIVE: #TaraReade responds to #JoeBiden; calls for him to drop out pic.twitter.com/jxHAUYaWVU
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) May 7, 2020
Biden said in a lengthy interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” May 1 that the incident never happened. Before May 1, Biden had only denied the allegation through a spokesperson and was not asked about it by the media for five weeks. (RELATED: It Took 37 Days For Media To Ask Joe Biden About Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Accusation)
“It is not true,” Biden said Friday on MSNBC. “I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened and it didn’t.”
Biden noted in his written statement that Reade’s story “has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways.” Reade first said that Biden touched her on the neck and shoulders inappropriately in 2019. She changed her story to account for an alleged sexual assault around one year later.
Kelly mentioned Biden said “accusers should start off with the presumption that they’re telling the truth” in Thursday’s clip. She asked if Reade believes Biden has given her that presumption.
“No. I mean, It’s been stunning, actually, how some of his surrogates with the blue checks, you know, they are his surrogates, have been saying really horrible things about me and to me on social media,” Reade replied. “He hasn’t himself, but there’s a measure of hypocrisy with the campaign saying it’s safe. It’s not been safe.”
“His campaign is taking this position that they want all women to be able to speak safely. I have not expeierenced that.”
Many top Biden supporters, including numerous women who are vying to be his running mate, have publicly backed Biden regarding Reade’s allegation against him. Others who have endorsed Biden, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have also gone on the record to say they believe the former vice president.
Reade also spoke about threats she says she’s received since coming forward with the allegation. She added that it is “a little late” for an apology from Biden.