House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was “satisfied” on Thursday by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s response to a sexual assault allegation made against him by a former staffer.
Pelosi had endorsed Biden earlier this week amid claims that he sexually assaulted former Senate staffer Tara Reade in 1993.
“I have great sympathy for any women who bring forth an allegation. I’m a big, strong supporter of the Me Too movement. I think it has been a great — made a great contribution to our country,” Pelosi told CNN on Thursday.
“And I do support Joe Biden. I’m satisfied with how he has responded.”
CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked the California Democrat if Biden — rather than just his campaign — should address the sexual assault allegation.
“You know, it’s a matter that he has to deal with,” Pelosi replied.
“But I am impressed with the people who worked for him at the time saying 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 said.
The Democratic leader then added, “But again, we have an important election at hand, one that is, I think, one of the most important ones that we’ve had. We say that every election, but I think this one is the most crucial.”
Pelosi’s comments on the matter echo those she made in an interview with MSNBC on April 17 when she also said she was “satisfied with [Biden’s] answer.”
Reade, who worked for Biden from 1992 to 1993, has said Biden kissed, groped and digitally penetrated her during an unwanted sexual advance.
On Monday, Business Insider published an interview with Reade’s former neighbor who said Reade had discussed the incident with her in the mid-1990s. The former neighbor became the fourth person to corroborate details about Reade’s sexual assault allegations.
However, Biden’s campaign has said the incident “never happened.”
“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women,” Biden Deputy Campain Manager Kate Bedingfield said.
“He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully. Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press,” she said.
The campaign also reportedly issued talking points for Democrats to use if they are asked about Reade’s allegations.
Pelosi continued her interview with CNN by saying she supports Biden “because he is a person of great values, integrity, authenticity, imagination and connection to the American people.”
“He’s the personification of hope and optimism for our country,” the speaker said.
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