President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has officially made clear that it has no intention of shying away from sexual assault allegations recently leveled against presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by former Senate staffer Tara Reade.
Addressing the allegations for the first time in a written statement Friday, the campaign also unveiled its latest advertisement: a video compilation, nearly two minutes in length, edited to place Biden in the crosshairs of harsh rhetoric deployed by Democrats against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his contentious 2018 confirmation proceedings.
The advertisement, described as an attempt to expose “Democrats’ double standard on believing women,” parallels previous statements from Biden and his allies suggesting at the height of the “Me Too” movement that all alleged victims must be believed with more recent defenses of the candidate made in light of the allegations leveled against him.
Those allegations, now corroborated by secondhand sources close to Reade, were made public earlier this year and involve several instances of inappropriate touching, as well as a sexual assault in a private hallway on the U.S. Capitol in 1993.
Biden, for his part, denied the allegations Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with host Mika Brzezinski, saying they “aren’t true” and that the incident in question “never happened.”
Trump campaign officials, however, were not willing to let Biden off the hook in light of the denial, suggesting the candidate should be held to the same standard he and his allies had previously set for political opponents with regard to allegations of sexual misconduct.
“The only thing Joe Biden did today was dig himself a deeper hole,” Erin Perrine, deputy communications director for the Trump campaign, said in the statement. “He once again demonstrated that he believes he should be held to a different standard than he has set for others.”
Included in the Trump campaign’s Friday advertisement are two separate instances of Biden himself saying without exception that “women should be believed” and “the woman should be given the benefit of the doubt” upon coming forward with an accusation.
But these are not the only examples of the candidate standing firm in the past twenty months with regard to such claims, Perrine pointed out.
The former vice president had also joined in a Democratic debate stage pig pile on former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in February, calling for “transparency” from the candidate when Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren demanded he release his alleged workplace sexual harassment victims from non-disclosure agreements and allow them to come forward with their claims, Fox News reported.
According to Business Insider, however, Biden refused this week to allow the public access to his extensive Senate records, now housed at the University of Delaware.
Those records, since accessed by Biden campaign operatives, would likely hold any congressional complaints filed by Reade against the senator.
“The double standard exhibited by Biden, prominent liberal women’s groups, and Democrat elected officials — some of whom want to be Biden’s running mate — is glaring and cannot be allowed to stand,” Perrine said. “There will be a great temptation among Biden’s supporters to take his lackluster interview performance and declare ‘case closed’ and move on.”
“We do not know what, if anything, was done to Tara Reade, but there cannot be one set of rules for Joe Biden and another set for everyone else,” she added.
Joe Biden to Morning Joe on Tara Reade sexual assault allegation: “It is not true. I am saying unequivocally — it never, never happened, and it didn’t. It never happened.” pic.twitter.com/kNDF0Fi6dt
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 1, 2020
President Trump on the sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden: “I don’t know anything about it. I think he should respond, you know? It could be false accusations. I know all about false accusations.” https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/PPgHOmVUBG
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 30, 2020
Despite his campaign’s guns-blazing approach to the allegations against Biden, Trump has been uncharacteristically reserved on the topic, telling reporters Thursday that Biden “should respond,” though the claims may well be false.
“I don’t know anything about it,” Trump said. “I don’t know exactly. I think he should respond. It could be false accusations. I know all about false accusations. I’ve been falsely charged numerous times and there is such a thing.”
“If you look at Brett Kavanaugh there’s an outstanding man. He was falsely charged. What happened with him was an absolute disgrace to our country. … I saw a man suffering so unfairly — I’m talking about Brett Kavanaugh — but I don’t know. I can’t speak for Biden. I can only say that I think he should respond. I think he should answer them,” Trump said.
The president would later follow suit with his campaign, according to Mediaite, telling conservative political commentator and podcast host Dan Bongino that he believes a partisan double standard exists in media coverage of sexual assault allegations leveled against prominent political figures.
This did not, however, stop the president from saying he was “sticking up for” Biden.
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