Former Vice President Joe Biden claims to not remember Tara Reade, the former staffer who leveled a sexual assault allegation against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
“Do you remember Tara Reade who worked there for about a year in 1992-1993?” Biden was asked Thursday night during an appearance on MSNBCs “The Last Word.”
“Well, to be honest with you, I dont,” Biden responded.
While women who accuse men of sexual harassment or abuse should be taken seriously, such claims should be “thoroughly vetted,” he added.
“And in every case, what matters is the truth. The truth is what matters. And the truth of the case is nothing like this ever, ever happened,” Biden, 77, said, noting that Reade changed her story over time.
Reade, who worked for Biden when he was a U.S. Senator, initially accused Biden of sexual harassment. She elevated her complaint to sexual assault this year.
Pointing to one of a number of articles in which the author says she believes Reade but will vote for Biden anyway, anchor Lawrence ODonnell asked Biden what he would say to women who believe his accuser.
“Well, I think they should vote their heart and if they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldnt vote for me. I wouldnt vote for me if I believed Tara Reade,” according to Biden, who has not held a press conference or any public events for over a month.
“The fact is that look at Tara Reades story. It changes considerably. And I dont want to question her motive, I dont want to question anything other than to say the truth matters. This is being vetted, its been vetted. They went and interviewed scores of my employees over my whole career. This is just totally, thoroughly, completely out of character. And the idea that in a public place, in a hallway I would assault a woman? I promise you. It never happened.”