UPDATED: 10:52 a.m. ET, April 25 —
Video and audio has emerged from the Larry King Live show that Tara Reade‘s mother claimed she called into to discuss her daughter’s sexual assault allegations about Joe Biden from back in 1993. While the video — posted to social media by Shaun King, a surrogate for Bernie Sanders‘ suspended presidential campaign — does not confirm the allegations, it does lend credence to Reade’s previous claim that her mother did so.
Ever since Tara Reade accused Joe Biden of sexual assault in a March podcast interview with Katie Halper, media publications have slowly but surely investigated the allegations ranging from interviews with Reade herself to opinion pieces supporting her claim and opinion pieces that are a little more skeptical. Now it seems more evidence supporting her credibility is starting to come out. The Intercept reports that they received a T.V. transcript that supports Reade’s claim that she told her mother about the allegations of harassment and assault back in 1993.
Reade’s brother, Collin Moulton, and her friend, who asked to remain anonymous, both confirmed that Tara told them about the allegations at the time. Reade also said that she told her mother (who urged her to go to the police at the time), however, her mom passed away in 2016 so most media publications weren’t able to verify her story.
However, in interviews with The Intercept, Reade said that her mother made a phone call to “Larry King Live” on CNN in which she made reference to her daughter’s experience on Capitol Hill. Reade said that her mom called asking for advice after Reade, then in her 20s, quit Biden’s office. “I remember it being an anonymous call and her saying my daughter was sexually harassed and retaliated against and fired, where can she go for help? I was mortified,” Reade said.
Reade couldn’t remember the date and year of the alleged call, however, a follower of her story was able to find the call and send it to The Intercept.
The publication reports, “On August 11, 1993, King aired a program titled, ‘Washington– ‘The Cruelest City on Earth’?’ Toward the end of the program, he introduces a caller dialing in from San Luis Obispo, California. Congressional records list August 1993 as Reade’s last month of employment with Biden’s Senate office, and, according to property records, Reade’s mother, Jeanette Altimus, was living in San Luis Obispo County.”
The Intercept then went on to publish the transcripts from the beginning of the call, which read:
KING: San Luis Obispo, California, hello.
CALLER: Yes, hello. I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.
KING: In other words, she had a story to tell but, out of respect for the person she worked for, she didn’t tell it?
CALLER: That’s true.
The Intercept then reported that King’s panel of the guest didn’t offer any guidance to the caller. Instead, the conversation went into a discussion on whether any of the men on set would leak damaging personal information about a rival to the press.
After being read the transcript of the call, Reade said that it matched with her memory. She said she was sure it was her mother, despite the audio not being available yet.
The Intercept explained:
“There are several notable things about the emergence of the call. On the one hand, the caller does not specifically mention ‘sexual harassment’ or retaliation, as Reade had recalled. On the other hand, the reference to being unable to “get through with her problems” aligns with Reade’s claim that she complained to superiors in Biden’s office and got nowhere, and the reference to going to the press makes clear that the caller is talking about more than just generic problems at the office. The problems, she makes clear, would damage the senator if exposed.”
The Intercept continued:
“Reade’s inability to remember the exact date of the alleged assault, or its precise location, or the precise location of the office where she picked up the form needed to file a complaint, has been used by skeptics to suggest the allegation is fabricated. What the emergence of the call shows is that even if Reade’s memory is off on timing or details, the substance of her claims — in this case, that her mother called Larry King and discussed her situation — can still be true.”
Biden’s camp has continually denied Reade’s assault allegations. At one point his campaign even released a statement from Marianne Baker, who would have been the office manager in the Biden senate office when Reade worked there in 1993. “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,” Baker said in the campaign’s statement. “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.”
However, for Baker’s statement to ring true, The Intercept explained, “Reade would have had to have lied to her friend, brother, and mother about having complained to Biden’s office. There is no obvious reason Reade would make up a story to those closest to her about the Senate office not taking Biden’s harassment seriously, while at the same time resisting pressure to go to the press.”
Reade has mentioned that the complaint she filed had to do with the alleged harassment she received from Biden back in ’93 such as the running “his finger up my neck.” Reade said she never addressed the assault in her complaint where Biden allegedly penetrated her. The harassment complaint was left with Biden’s office, and if it still exists, it would be with Biden’s papers at the University of Delaware. The educational institution recently told reporter Rich McHugh that the papers are sealed until two years after Biden leaves public life.