Tara Reade, the former Senate aide who accused Democratic nominee Joe Biden of sexual assault, is now urging him to step up and take accountability. Reade sat down for an interview to discuss the allegations with former Fox News and NBC television host Megyn Kelly on Wednesday. Kelly posted clips of the interview to her Twitter on Thursday, during which Reade demanded that Biden own up to his actions in the alleged 90s assault.
In the sit-down interview with Kelly, Reade also expressed her belief that Biden should drop out of the presidential race. “You and I were there, Joe Biden. Please step forward and be held accountable,” Reade said. “You should not be running on character for the president of the United States.”
The Democratic nominee, who has previously positioned himself as an ally to sexual assault survivors said in 2018 that a person’s public claims of assault should be presumed as the truth. But Reade says she wasn’t afforded that presumption, instead becoming a target of harassment, including in the form of death threats. “His campaign is taking this position that they want all women to be able to speak safely. I have not experienced that,” Reade said.
Kelly went on to compare Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with Reade’s accusation, which has not received the same support. Blasey Ford went under oath, she subjected herself to cross-examination, and she took a polygraph test, Kelly said.
While Reade agreed she would do the same if prompted, she added, “Joe Biden should take the polygraph. What kind of precedent does that set for survivors of violence? Does that mean we’re presumed guilty and we all have to take polygraphs? So I will take one if Joe Biden takes one, but I am not a criminal.”
The interview with Kelly comes after she accused Biden of digitally penetrating her in 1993 when she was a staffer in the Senate office. According to Reade, she was alleviated of some of her duties as a supervisor following the assault, claims that a former Senate intern later corroborated.
This is also Reade’s first on-camera appearance since Biden denied her allegations last Friday. “No, it is not true,” Biden said in an interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe. “I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened.” The former Vice President went on to say that women’s claims of assault should be taken seriously, adding, “But in the end, in every case, the truth is what matters. And in this case, the truth is, the claims are false.” Biden’s campaign has not yet responded to Reade’s latest interview with Kelly.
On Thursday, Douglas Wigdor, a prominent sexual harassment attorney, said his firm would be representing Reade moving forward. When asked if she wanted an apology from Biden for the alleged sexual assault, Reade said, “I think it’s a little late.”