Stacey Abrams is backing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden after his campaign denied that he sexually assaulted Tara Reade back in 1993.
“I believe Joe Biden,” Abrams told CNN host Don Lemon when he questioned her about the allegations.
“I believe that women deserve to be heard and I believe they need to be listened to, but I also believe that those allegations have to be investigated by credible sources,” she started. “The New York Times did a deep investigation and they found that the accusation was not credible. I believe Joe Biden.”
Back in March, Reade accused Biden of going up her skirt and violating her with his fingers when she worked as a staff assistant in his Senate office. Reade told podcaster Katie Halper that they were alone when the incident allegedly occurred, however, Reade said that she told her brother, a friend and her now deceased mother about the alleged assault. Most publications have corroborated the brother and friend’s account.
When Reade initially told her story on Halper’s podcast, most publications were slow to cover the allegations. The New York Times, in particular, was criticized for their slow response and even when they did cover the accusations, folks criticized them for editing one sentence of the article that alluded to past accusations against Biden of inappropriate behavior towards women. The Times’ Executive Editor Dean Baquet would later admit that they made the change at the behest of the Biden campaign.
Meanwhile, Abrams has made it clear that she’s up for the Vice President position if Biden should choose her. Although Abrams has amassed a huge amount of support as a politician, especially after the Georgia gubernatorial election was stolen from her by now governor, Brian Kemp, her support for Biden during his campaign run could raise some eyebrows.
Abrams’ claims that Reade’s accusations need to be “investigated” is a notable switch from when she backed the alleged victim of Brett Kavanaugh, who was being nominated to the Supreme Court in 2018. Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her and after Kavanaugh’s nomination was green-lit, Abrams tweeted:
“After the courageous and compelling testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford yesterday, it is shameful that Kavanaugh’s nomination is being rushed forward. I believe women, and I believe survivors of violence always deserve to be supported and to have their voices heard.”
While Abrams is citing a compromised New York Times article as the reason she believes Biden, more information continues to come out that corroborate Reade’s accusations.
Although Reade’s mother passed away in 2016, she told The Intercept that her mom once called “Larry King Live” and alluded to Reade’s “problems” with Joe Biden. Eventually, a follower of Reade’s story found the Larry King Live footage and sent it to The Intercept, and it was later revealed to the public. Reade confirmed the voice in the clip was her mom, Jeanette Altimus, and in her call to King, Altimus asked him:
“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.”
The Intercept reported that King’s panel of the guest didn’t offer any guidance to the caller and eventually the conversation would go elsewhere.
Not too long after the “Larry King Live” video was released, a former neighbor to Reade also said that Reade told her about the assault when they lived near each other in the mid-90s. Lynda LaCasse told Business Insider that she lived next door to Reade and one time, they were sitting on her front stoop having a conversation about violent situations. This is when LaCasse said Reade told her that she was assaulted by someone who she “idolized.”
“I don’t remember all the details,” LaCasse said. “I remember the skirt. I remember the fingers. I remember she was devastated.”
Despite Biden’s campaign denying the sexual assault allegations, Reade continues to stand by her claims. When Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race leaving Biden as the inevitable Democratic presidential nominee, Reade tweeted:
“Many of you that supported different Dem candidates are struggling right now. I will still fight to have my history with Joe Biden known that he sexually harassed & assaulted me when I was his staffer in 1993. You all need to vote for who you wish. For me there is no democracy.”
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