WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Tara Reade, a former Senate staff of Joe Biden, said in a text message to NBC News on Saturday that she was not sure of the wording she used in her complaint against the former senator.
- Biden said the allegations were not true, and insisted that no record exists, but sent a letter to the secretary of Senate to find out if such complaint was issued by Reade.
- Some former Obama administration and campaign officials like William Jeffress also defended Biden, pointing out that no such evidence was found in relation to the allegation.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s accuser, Tara Reade, a former staff when he was a senator back in 1993, claimed that she’s “not sure” what words she used in the complaint she filed in the Senate office in 1993.
In a text message to NBC News on Saturday, Reade said: “I filed a complaint re sexual harassment and retaliation but I am not sure what explicit words on that intake form until we all see it again.”
The former staffer said that the complaint would not include the sexual assault allegation she came forward with in March. During an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, she said “The main word I used — and I know I didn’t use ‘sexual harassment’ — I used ‘uncomfortable.’ And I remember ‘retaliation.'”
In an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Biden said, “It is not true. I am saying unequivocally it never, never happened, and it didn’t… It never happened.”
Biden insisted that no record exists — which a number of former Obama administration and campaign officials vouched in Biden’s defense. William Jeffress, one of the lawyers who served during the Obama campaign’s vice-presidential search team, told NBC News that there was no evidence of any complaint of any kind against Biden.
“We did not do a complete search of records from his office… If something had come up, we would have looked at the records. I do not recall and do not believe we reviewed his Senate records,” Jeffress said.
Nonetheless, Biden sent a letter to the secretary of the Senate on Friday to “take or direct whatever steps are necessary” to find out whether such personnel record exists, and to publicize should there be any document relating to it.
The apparent Democratic presidential nominee also reiterated on Friday that he unequivocally denies the allegations made by Reade in front of Obama administration veterans.
“Your trust and faith has always meant a great deal to me,” Biden said. “So first, let me say unequivocally, this claim is simply not true. It did not happen.” Then he added that “women have to be able to be heard and that all the claims be taken seriously.”
Source: NBC News