Tara Reade, whose accusation of sexual assault against presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden refuses to fade away, said she will tell her story under oath if that’s what it takes to make someone listen.
Reade, who was a staffer for Biden when he was a U.S. senator, has accused the former vice president of sexually assaulting her in 1993. Reade worked for Biden from 1992 to 1993, and has said Biden had kissed, groped and digitally penetrated her during an unwanted sexual advance.
Biden’s campaign has denied Reade’s allegation.
“I will cooperate with law enforcement of any investigation going forward or in the future, and go under oath if I need to about what happened,” Reade told the Washington Examiner.
Multiple sources have confirmed that at the time Reade said she was assaulted, she spoke to them about the incident. She has said she filed a complaint about the incident, but its whereabouts are not known.
Although Reade has spent the last few weeks telling her story, there is one place she has not told it — in an in-depth TV interview.
That became fodder for Ben Smith of The New York Times to liken the media’s shunning of Reade to a similar media reaction that took place in 1999, when Juanita Broaddrick first came forward with her story that former President Bill Clinton had raped her in 1978.
Tara Reade’s Joe Biden assault claim gives Juanita Broaddrick déjà vu: ‘I believe her’ | Fox News https://t.co/v2zqHvqtIN
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) April 29, 2020
Smith wrote in his “The Media Equation” column that “the handling of Ms. Broaddrick’s story was one of the most damaging media mistakes of the Clinton years. And the treatment of Mr. Clinton’s accusers by the Democratic Party and the media alike is one of the original sins that led to today’s divided, partisan news environment.”
“The same thing is about to happen again,” Smith wrote in transition to his examination of why Reade has not been booked to a single major TV news show.
“There are, as with Ms. Broaddrick, reasons to doubt her story; there aren’t good reasons not to hear her out,” Smith wrote.
Reade said that the only offers she has had have come from Fox News, including an offer to appear on Sean Hannity’s show.
“I’ve been trying to just kind of wait to get someone in the middle,” Reade told Smith, explaining why she has been hesitant to say yes to Fox News. “I don’t want to be pigeonholed as a progressive, I don’t want to be pigeonholed as a Trump supporter.”
“They’re not offering to put me on TV — they’re just doing stories,” Reade said. “No anchors, no nothing like that.”
Reade said she expects to accept Fox’s offer as long as she can speak with “someone a little more up the middle.” Smith wrote that a source said Reade had been talking to Fox News host Chris Wallace about an interview.
“Typically, in a situation like this, media outlets would be competing intensely for the first major on-camera interview, yet the only network calling Reade is Fox News,” Ryan Grim of the Intercept, which first reported Reade’s allegations, said.
“That the media isn’t more concerned about the image ignoring this story creates, and the fodder it gives to cynical actors like Donald Trump Jr., gleefully parading the media’s hypocrisy, suggests a potentially destructive lack of self-awareness.”
Broaddrick said she is trying to support Reade by phone and text.
“It’s the same stuff all over again,” she told Smith. “People have got to learn that it doesn’t matter who somebody supports — if they can be vetted and investigated and we find that it’s credible allegations then it doesn’t matter what their political preference is.”
Reade said she knows she has a hard road ahead.
“I think there are people who are hard-wired to not believe it and that’s OK — they need to be able to justify their vote, and I have sympathy for that,” she said.
Reade said in an interview with Fox that the media have not treated all accusations of sexual assault the same.
“I guess my question is, if this were Donald Trump, would they treat it the same way? If this were Brett Kavanaugh, did they treat it the same way?” Reade said.
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