Pelosi remains ‘satisfied’ with Biden’s response to sexual assault allegation


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Pelosi told MSNBC two weeks ago that she was “satisfied” with Biden’s response to Tara Reade’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her in 1993 when she was an aide in his Senate office, but in the meantime, Biden has faced increasing pressure to personally address the claim, which has been denied by his campaign.

“Well, I have great sympathy for any women who bring forth an allegation,” Pelosi told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day” Thursday. “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. And I do support Joe Biden. I’m satisfied with how he has responded.”

Asked if Biden should directly address the allegation, Pelosi replied, “You know, 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 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,” said Pelosi, who had endorsed Biden on Monday.

Questions related to Reade’s allegation pose a challenging balancing act for some Biden supporters and surrogates, who have praised his candidacy and character but do not want to dismiss a sexual assault allegation.

CNN reported on Tuesday that Reade’s ex-neighbor said Reade told her about the alleged assault in the mid-1990s, and a newly surfaced 1993 video appears to feature the mother of Reade calling into “Larry King Live” to seek advice around the time of the alleged assault about how to handle “problems” her daughter had while working for a prominent US senator.

Deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield previously released a statement saying Reade’s claim is “untrue” and “absolutely did not happen.”

Kirsten Gillibrand on Tara Reade allegation: 'I support Vice President Biden'

“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women. 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,” Bedingfield said. “Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim: it is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”

In addition to the statement from Bedingfield, the Biden campaign also shared a statement from Marianne Baker, Biden’s executive assistant in the 1980s and 1990s when he was a senator.

“In all my years working for Senator Biden, I never once witnessed, or heard of, or received, any reports of inappropriate conduct, period — not from Ms. Reade, not from anyone. I have absolutely no knowledge or memory of Ms. Reade’s accounting of events, which would have left a searing impression on me as a woman professional, and as a manager,” Baker said. “These clearly false allegations are in complete contradiction to both the inner workings of our Senate office and to the man I know and worked so closely with for almost two decades.”

CNN’s MJ Lee and Arlette Saenz contributed to this report.

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