“I acknowledge my accountability to be a voice, an advocate, and a frontrunner for the change in tradition that has begun however is nowhere close to completed,” Mr. Biden wrote in a Medium post. “So I need to deal with allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years in the past. They aren’t true. This by no means occurred.”
Mr. Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, additionally known as on the Nationwide Archives to launch any current grievance associated to the allegation.
In an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday, Mr. Biden mentioned of Ms. Reade’s declare, “No, it’s not true. I’m saying unequivocally it by no means, by no means occurred.”
Responding to questions from Mika Brzezinski, the present’s co-host, Mr. Biden mentioned that every one ladies had a proper to be heard after they come ahead with allegations, after which the information should be examined. However he strenuously insisted that in his case, “I guarantee you it didn’t occur. Interval. Interval.”
At situation is an allegation from Ms. Reade, a former aide in his Senate workplace, who has mentioned that Mr. Biden assaulted her in 1993, when he was a senator from Delaware. His marketing campaign has mentioned her account is fake, however Mr. Biden, who has participated in digital fund-raisers and native tv interviews in latest days, had not raised the matter himself or confronted public questioning on the topic.
Amid intensifying scrutiny across the allegation, there have been rising requires Mr. Biden to launch his Senate papers, held on the College of Delaware. Within the Medium submit, Mr. Biden mentioned that these papers “don’t include personnel recordsdata.”
“There is just one place a grievance of this type might be — the Nationwide Archives,” he wrote. “The Nationwide Archives is the place the information are stored at what was then known as the Workplace of Honest Employment Practices. I’m requesting that the Secretary of the Senate ask the Archives to determine any document of the grievance she alleges she filed and make obtainable to the press any such doc. If there was ever any such grievance, the document will likely be there.”
In a single lengthy trade, Ms. Brzezinski repeatedly pressed Mr. Biden on why he wouldn’t enable a seek for any paperwork associated to Ms. Reade on the College of Delaware, to which he responded a number of instances “they’re not there,” asserting that no personnel recordsdata have been housed on the college.
The assertion comes as a lot of ladies’s rights advocates and organizations have known as on Mr. Biden to deal with the matter, and as a number of individuals have corroborated components of Ms. Reade’s declare, saying they recalled her sharing components of the story years in the past. In his assertion, Mr. Biden mentioned that girls who make allegations “ought to be heard, not silenced,” however their tales additionally warrant scrutiny. He went on to lift “the complete and rising document of inconsistencies in her story, which has modified repeatedly in each small and massive methods.”
Whereas Mr. Biden had remained quiet on the topic till Friday, a lot of distinguished Democrats have been pressed on the matter and have sided with Mr. Biden whilst Republicans and a few activists on the left have been sharply essential.
“I need to take away all doubt in anybody’s thoughts: I’ve an important consolation degree with the state of affairs as I see it, with all due respect on the earth for any girl who comes ahead, with all the very best regard for Joe Biden,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi instructed reporters on Thursday.
“There’s lots of pleasure round the concept that ladies will likely be heard and be listened to,” she mentioned, expressing “full respect” for the #MeToo motion. “There’s additionally due course of, and the truth that Joe Biden is Joe Biden.”
A few of Mr. Biden’s potential working mates, together with Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kamala Harris of California, in addition to Stacey Abrams, the previous Georgia Home minority chief, have additionally voiced assist for Mr. Biden, noting his work, as an illustration, on the Violence In opposition to Ladies Act.
Some Republicans have sought to color Democrats as hypocrites, suggesting that they’re holding Ms. Reade’s allegation to a special commonplace in contrast with the one used for accusations of sexual assault towards Brett M. Kavanaugh throughout his Supreme Courtroom affirmation hearings in 2018.
“I feel he ought to reply,” President Trump mentioned of Mr. Biden on Thursday, as his marketing campaign signaled this week it supposed to make the allegation a marketing campaign situation. “It might be false accusations.”
In his assertion, Mr. Biden sought to attract sharp distinctions with Mr. Trump.
“We’ve lived lengthy sufficient with a president who doesn’t suppose he’s accountable to anybody, and takes accountability for nothing,” he mentioned. “That’s not me. I consider being accountable means having the tough conversations, even when they’re uncomfortable. Folks want to listen to the reality.”