“I know he won’t, but that is how I feel emotionally,” she told Megyn Kelly in an on-camera sit-down interview. Kelly asked her what she would want to say to Biden.
“I would say, you and I were there, Joe Biden, please step forward and be held accountable,” she said. “You should not be running on character for the president of the United States.”
In an appearance on Morning Joe last week, Biden said that the incident “never, never happened.”
Reade also said that it was “stunning” how some of Biden’s “surrogates have been saying really horrible things about me and to me on social media. He hasn’t himself but there is a measure of hypocrisy with the campaign saying it is safe. It has not been safe.” She said that she also has been called a “Russian agent” and received a death threat.
The complete interview has yet to be released. Since first going public with her allegation of sexual assault, Reade has done on-camera interviews with The Hill and Democracy Now, but not a major network.
Reade’s story has been covered extensively by outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post, but their stories have been inconclusive. On Thursday, another reporter who has looked extensively at her case, Laura McGann, wrote in Vox that Reade’s story “leaves me where no reporter wants to be: mired in the miasma of uncertainty.”
Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, pointed to one aspect of the Vox story — an anonymous friend who provides some corroboration of Reade’s allegation, but last year told the same reporter a different story, that Biden “never tried to kiss her directly. He never went for one of those touches. It was one of those, ‘sorry you took it that way.'”
Bedingfield released a new statement on Thursday in which she said that “every day, more and more inconsistencies arise. Women must receive the benefit of the doubt. They must be able to come forward and share their stories without fear of retribution or harm — and we all have a responsibility to ensure that. At the same time, we can never sacrifice the truth. And the truth is that these accusations are false and that the material that has been presented to back them up, under scrutiny, keeps proving their falsity.”
PREVIOUSLY, 10:05 AM PT: Megyn Kelly said Thursday that she has done an on-camera interview with Tara Reade, the woman who accused Joe Biden of sexual assaulting her in 1993.
In an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe last week, Biden vigorously denied the allegations and said that they “never, never happened.”
Kelly wrote on Twitter, “MK EXCLUSIVE: Former Biden staffer #TaraReade, who accuses FMR VP #JoeBiden of sexually assaulting her in 1993, sits down w/me in her first on-camera interview since Mr. Biden denied her accusations. Her story & some tough Q’s in a riveting exchange. A ton of news coming …”
Reade has yet to do an on camera interview for a major network, though she has spoken to print outlets and, in her first major account of the allegation, an interview with podcaster Katie Halper. Reade reportedly backed out of an interview planned last weekend with Chris Wallace on Fox News, Kelly’s former employer. A Fox News source said Fox News was en route to the interview and Reade cancelled for security concerns. On Tuesday, CNN’s Don Lemon said that Reade cancelled an interview she had agreed to do with him two nights earlier. He said that she told him she had security concerns.
Reade claimed that in 1993, when she was a member of Biden’s Senate staff, he pushed her against the wall of a Senate hallway and penetrated her with his finger.
It’s unclear where Kelly or when will post the interview, but she previously has put them on her Instagram page.
The interview is produced by Rich McHugh, the former NBC News producer who worked with Ronan Farrow on the 2017 expose of Harvey Weinstein, before the network declined to air it. Farrow eventually wrote about the Weinstein accusations for The New Yorker, and won a Pulitzer Prize.
Attorney Douglas Wigdor, who represents six of Weinstein’s accusers and other clients who have claimed sexual harassment against high-profile figures, said that he is representing Reade. His firm sent out a statement as a kind of pre-emptive strike against arguments that he has a political interest in the case.
“It is inevitable that partisan politics will lead people to attack our firm and Mr. Wigdor specifically, particularly given his support of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign,” the firm said. “However, any objective view of Mr. Wigdor’s career and the history of the firm (which is comprised of partners, lawyers and staff from all political parties) belie such a false narrative and make clear that our representation is simply a continuation of our objective support of all legitimate victims.”
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