Two prominent Democratic women considered to be candidates to serve as former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate came out in defense of the former veep in light of the sexual assault allegation against him.
Tara Reade, a former Biden Senate staffer, alleged that Biden pushed her up against a wall and digitally penetrated her during an encounter in 1993. Reade said she told her mother, who has since passed, her brother, and several friends about the alleged assault at the time.
The Biden campaign has repeatedly denied the allegation.
Earlier this week, a former neighbor and a former colleague told Business Insider that Reade told them about the allegations at the time.
Several former colleagues at Biden’s Senate office said they did not recall any allegations.
Stacey Abrams backs Biden:
Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who is frequently mentioned as a possible running mate, came out in defense of Biden.
"I believe women deserve to be heard, and I believe that has happened here," Abrams told HuffPost on Tuesday. "The allegations have been heard and looked into, and for too many women, often, that is not the case. The New York Times conducted a thorough investigation, and nothing in The Times review or any other later reports suggests anything other than what I already know about Joe Biden: That he will make women proud as the next President of the United States."
“So when we say believe women, it’s for this explicit intention of making sure there’s space for all women to come forward to speak their truth, to be heard,” New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said on Tuesday. “And in this allegation, that is what Tara Reade has done. She has come forward, she has spoken, and they have done an investigation in several outlets. Those investigations, Vice President Biden has called for himself. Vice President Biden has vehemently denied these allegations, and I support Vice President Biden.”
“I stand by Vice President Biden,” she added. “He has devoted his life to supporting women, and he has vehemently denied this allegation.”