Former Vice President Joe Biden again denied sexual assault allegations from former Senate aide Tara Reade but said that women “shouldn’t vote for me” if they believe her and not him.
Biden told MSNBC that he did not remember Reade from when she worked in his Senate office in the early 1990s but again denied her claim that he pushed her up against a wall and penetrated her with his fingers without her consent.
"But let me get something clear, when a woman makes a claim that she has been harassed or abused, and this claim has changed... she should be taken seriously,” Biden added. “She should come forward, share her story, she should be taken seriously and it should be thoroughly vetted. 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... I give you my word. It never, ever happened."
Biden says “I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade”:
Host Lawrence O’Donnell pointed to a New York Times op-ed titled "I Believe Tara Reade. I'm Voting for Joe Biden Anyway" and asked the former veep what he would say to women that believe Reade’s claims.
"Well, I think they should vote their heart and if they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn't vote for me. I wouldn't vote for me if I believed Tara Reade," Biden replied. "The fact is that look at Tara Reade's story. It changes considerably. And I don't want to question her motive, I don't want to question anything other than to say the truth matters. This is being vetted, it's been vetted, and people 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 mean, it's just- I- anyway, I promise you. It never happened."
Biden rejects Trump pardon:
Elsewhere in the interview, a viewer asked Biden whether he would pardon Donald Trump if the president was prosecuted after he leaves office.
"Would you be willing to commit to not pulling a President Ford and giving Donald Trump a pardon under the pretense of healing the nation? In other words, are you willing to commit to the American ideal that no one is above the law?" the viewer asked.
"Absolutely yes. I commit," Biden replied. “It’s hands-off completely. Look, the attorney general of the United States is not the president’s lawyer, it’s the people’s lawyer.... It’s not something the president is entitled to do, to direct either a prosecution or decide to drop a case. That is not the president’s role or responsibility and it’s a dereliction of his duty.”