Democratic Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms made it clear Sunday that she takes former Vice President Joe Biden at his word with regard to Tara Reade.
Bottoms told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Reade, a former Senate aide who has accused Biden of sexual assault, deserved to be heard — but added that no one “with any objectivity” had yet confirmed any of her accusations. (RELATED: Atlanta Mayor Lays Blame On White House For Ahmaud Arbery Shooting)
Tapper broached the subject after noting that Bottoms had been floated by Democratic South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn as a potential vice presidential pick for Biden, saying, “I have to ask you about Tara Reade, the former Biden staff member who has accused the former vice president of assaulting her in a Capitol Hill corridor in 1993. Vice president Biden denies the allegations, he says they’re 100% false. Do you find Tara Reade allegations credible?”
Bottoms said that Biden was right to say that Reade “should be heard and should be taken seriously,” but then added a caveat.
“I think that we have to go to the next level and then vet what her allegations have been. And there has not been anyone with any objectivity who has been able to confirm that her allegations are accurate,” she said. “The Joe Biden that I know is a man who respects women. And again, not just in his words but in his deeds. He authored the Violence Against Women Act. He has been a very vocal proponent of making sure that women are protected across our college campuses.”
Tapper pushed back, noting that there were some friends who had come forward to back Reade’s claims. “I don’t know what you mean when you say anybody with any objectivity,” he said. “That seems a standard that very few accusers would be able to meet.”
“Well, what I mean by that is, aside from people who know her personally, I’m referring to the media who has had an opportunity to vet her allegations,” Bottoms replied. “Also there has not been anyone who worked in the office at the time who could corroborate the allegations that she claims she made at the time. And also, being mindful of the fact that her story has changed over time.”