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The woman who has accused Joe Biden of a sexual assault in the early 1990s is calling out the media and several politicians being considered to join the former vice president on the 2020 ticket for “protecting a powerful man” while attempting to “silence” her in the process.
“I’d like my history with Biden to be examined in a dignified way that’s not slanted by political bias or sensationalized. I’d like a deeper conversation about the fact that sexual harassment and sexual assault do not have a political party, agenda,” Tara Reade told Fox News in an interview Sunday. “It’s an equal opportunity offender. There are Democratic offenders as well as Republican offenders and I’m sure Independent and Green Party. I mean, it doesn’t matter what your party affiliation is, and it shouldn’t as far as the media coverage regarding claims.”
Reade, a former staffer for the then-Delaware senator, pointed to the favorable reporting on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who came forward in 2018 during the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and accused him of an alleged assault that took place in the 1980s. Kavanaugh vehemently denied the allegations that were leveled against him at the time.
“Blasey Ford, because it was a conservative candidate they were going to put in the Supreme Court, was treated with much more deference by most of the media outlets, although her experience was difficult as well. And she received threats and received her own pain,” Reade said. “I’ve basically had no substantive support from women’s groups that are considered liberal or Democratic. I’ve had no support from any Democratic candidate, although I’ve reached out. And I’ve received either slanted reporting that ended up being talking points for Biden’s campaign or silence from the mainstream media. So that’s my contention and my concern.”
The Biden accuser expressed hope that “the next kind of case” like hers will be approached in a “more educated way and with emotional intelligence.”
Reade, a life-long Democrat, later called out the politicians on Biden’s VP shortlist over their “silence” on her assault claim, including Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who she had supported for president during the Democratic primary before supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
“What I’d like to say to the slanted reporting where they are omitting details, where they are not investigating corroborating [testimony], what I would like to say to them at this point and some of the silence from some the candidates Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren that at this point, if you continue to silence me, if you continue to engage in protecting a powerful man without giving my case a closer look, you are complicit in rape,” Reade declared.
She later added, “And nothing’s going to change. And I’m already taking heat, so you know, you can put the heat on me. I’m the one who’s saying it. They can call me crazy, or whatever.”
The offices of Sen. Harris, Sen. Klobuchar, and Sen. Warren did not immediately respond to Fox News’ requests for comment.
Earlier this month, Klobuchar was asked about Reade’s allegation but pointed to the reporting from The New York Times and concluded that her claim “has been investigated.”
“He has said, and I agree with this, you’ve got to get to the bottom of every case and all allegations. I think The New York Times — I haven’t read all the stories. I read that one. Your viewers should read that,” Klobuchar told MSNBC anchor Ari Melber. “It was very thorough. They interviewed people. And I have done a lot of work on this. I actually led the effort to change the rules in the U.S. Senate so that it is easier to bring these cases forward and so that we have taxpayers not paying for bad conduct.”
“I think this case has been investigated. I know the vice president as a major leader on domestic abuse, I worked with him on that. And I think that, again, the viewers should read the article. It was very thorough.”
Reade’s story first resurfaced in an article in The Intercept on March 24. Podcast host Katie Halper then interviewed Reade, who said that in 1993, a more senior member of Biden’s staff asked her to bring the then-senator his gym bag near the U.S. Capitol building, which led to the encounter in question.
“He greeted me, he remembered my name, and then we were alone. It was the strangest thing,” Reade told Halper. “There was no like, exchange really. He just had me up against the wall.”
Reade said that she was wearing “a business skirt,” but “wasn’t wearing stockings — it was a hot day.”
She continued: “His hands were on me and underneath my clothes, and he went down my skirt and then up inside it and he penetrated me with his fingers and he was kissing me at the same time and he was saying some things to me.”
Reade claimed Biden first asked if she wanted “to go somewhere else.”
“I pulled away, he got finished doing what he was doing,” Reade said. “He said: ‘Come on, man. I heard you liked me.’”
Reade said she tried to share her story last year, but nobody listened to her. Earlier this month, she filed a criminal complaint against Biden with police in Washington, D.C.
Fox News reached out to the Biden campaign for comment on this story. The campaign referred Fox News to a statement earlier this month from Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield that said: “What is clear about this claim: it is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”
“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women,” Bedingfield said. “He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully. Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press.”
Fox News’ Sam Dorman and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.