More than 70 people who worked for former Democratic Delaware Sen. Joe Biden say they never experienced sexual harassment from him, and many said they doubt accuser Tara Reade’s story, PBS NewsHour reported Friday.
PBS NewsHour attempted to contact over 200 former Biden staffers and interviewed 74 about Biden’s behavior towards women throughout his career as well as about Reade’s allegations of sexual harassment. Of the former staffers interviewed, 62 were women. (RELATED: Biden Must Agree To ‘Independent And Nonpartisan Investigation’ Now That He Wants Voters To Assess Tara Reade’s Accusation, Reade’s Attorney Says)
Many of staffers told PBS they do not believe Reade, who claims that Biden kissed her, touched her, and penetrated her with his fingers without her consent when she worked for him in Washington, D.C. in 1993. Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee for president, has denied this allegation on multiple occasions.
The outlet reports that not one of the people who PBS NewsHour interviewed said that Biden had sexually harassed, assaulted, or behaved inappropriately towards them. All of those interviewed told the publication that they had never even heard of such an allegation against Biden until Reade came forward with her allegations.
Staffers told PBS NewsHour that they understand that their experiences working for Biden do not disprove Reade’s allegations, and that they believe Reade’s allegations should be heard. (RELATED: ‘I Want The Same Equal Treatment’: Biden Accuser Tara Reade Tears Into Media, Women’s Groups, Democratic Politicians)
“The one thing about Joe Biden is, he is a man of the highest character and that’s why these accusations are so surreal and just can’t comport with the man I worked with,” Marcia Lee Taylor, who served as senior policy advisor for the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, told PBS NewsHour.
Reade’s attorney Douglas Wigdor told the Daily Caller News Foundation that he would be “surprised frankly, if other women would find the courage to come forward and report similar incidents involving Joe Biden,” considering the “biased reporting that has been designed to discredit Ms. Reade.”
“As someone who supported Dr. (Christine Blasey) Ford on MSNBC and represents numerous Harvey Weinstein victims, the double standard being applied to Ms. Reade is truly amazing,” Wigdor told the DCNF. “Tara Reade has sat down for an extensive interview with no ground rules or lawyers involved. She answered every question put to her.”
Wigdor said Biden has not provided the same level of candor as Reade.
“When will he sit down for a real interview,” Wigdor said.
Some staffers who spoke to PBS do remember working with Reade, and one said he recalled that Reade was fired for poor job performance.
“I should add that (Biden) conveniently, along with his former senior staffers, claims to have no memory of Ms. Reade, yet there are now stories of her alleged poor work performance leading to her discharge. It just doesn’t add up,” Wigdor said.
The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.
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