Tara Reade, former Senate staffer for Joe Biden, called on Biden to drop out of the presidential race in an interview with Megyn Kelly on Thursday.
“I want to say, you were there, Joe Biden. Please, step forward and be held accountable. You should not be running on character for the president of the United States,” Reade said. Reade alleges that Biden sexually assaulted her in Spring 1993, a charge that Biden has denied.
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) May 7, 2020
“You want him to withdraw?” Kelly asked. “I wish he would. He won’t, but I wish he would. That’s how I feel emotionally,” Reade responded.
Reade also decried what she called the Biden campaign’s “hypocrisy” in how it treated her allegations, mentioning that she has received a death threat and that “it’s been stunning how some of his surrogates with the blue checks…have been saying really horrible things about me and to me.”
Prominent Democratic officials have proclaimed their support for Biden in the face of Reade’s allegations, which have been partially corroborated in testimony from former friends and neighbors. In particular, prospective picks for vice president, including Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar and failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, have backed Biden.
“[Biden] answered questions directly and has been open and transparent with the American people, and I am proud to be supporting him,” Klobuchar said in a statement on Tuesday.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) has also come out in support of Biden. Gillibrand suggested in 2018 that the FBI should investigate allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was then in the midst of confirmation hearings.