House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Thursday dismissed the notion that vice president Joe Biden should “directly, publicly” respond to sexual-assault allegations made by his former Senate staffer, saying in an interview that she was “satisfied with how he has responded.”
Speaking to CNN, Pelosi defended Biden after she was asked if Biden should answer the allegation “head-on” and by “himself.”
“I’m satisfied with how he has responded,” Pelosi said, adding she was “very proud to endorse him.”
“It’s a matter that he has to deal with, but I am impressed with the people who worked for him at the time saying that they absolutely never heard one iota of information about this, nobody ever brought forth a claim or had anybody else tell them about such a claim,” she stated.
Nancy Pelosi was asked on @CNN about the Biden sexual assault allegation and she defended him.
"He’s a person of great values, integrity, authenticity, imagination, and connection to the American people," Pelosi said, adding that she's "satisfied with how he has responded." pic.twitter.com/gaDt8Ki7oR
— Mike Brest (@MikeBrestDC) April 30, 2020
While Biden’s campaign has strongly denied the allegations of Biden’s accuser, Tara Reade, the former vice president has not said anything publicly about the situation. The New York Times said Wednesday that talking points about the allegation that had been circulated by the campaign “inaccurately suggest” the paper concluded that Reade’s claims were false.
Reade has said that she complained about the incident to Biden staffers at the time, who have denied that she ever approached them. But last week, a 1993 clip from CNN’s Larry King Live showed a woman calling in about “problems” her daughter had had with a U.S. senator. Reade, who had previously told The Intercept that such a tape existed, identified the woman as her mother. Earlier this week, one of Reade’s former neighbors came forward and said Reade told her about details of the allegation in the mid-1990s.
Biden’s top female surrogates and prospective vice presidential candidates have also defended the former vice president. “I believe women deserve to be heard, and I believe that has happened here,” former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said on Tuesday, apparently referencing the campaign’s talking points about the Times article.
Reade has said that she has been surprised by the dismissals of her claims in the “MeToo” era. News surfaced Wednesday that a letter asking Biden to address Reade’s claims was drafted by national women’s advocacy groups, only for the letter to not be publicly released after the Biden campaign learned of it.
“I was just hoping to get a fair and equal treatment,” Reade told National Review. “But because it’s Joe Biden I’ve been silenced or smeared.”