Republicans hit Democrats, media after development in Biden sexual assault claim
Republicans are ripping into Democrats and media outlets for what they allege is silence over the latest development in the sexual assault allegation against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden — after video emerged that appears to show accuser Tara Reade’s mother referring to the alleged assault on TV in 1993.
“Joe Biden isn’t sheltering in place in his basement bunker because of the pandemic, he’s hiding from Tara Reade,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted Friday.
Trump Jr. later took a shot at the New York Times for a profile piece of Biden published Saturday that made no reference of the allegations against him.
“Shockingly, the words ‘Tara Reade’ are nowhere to be found in this @nytimes puff piece on creepy @JoeBiden’s campaign. But don’t worry guys, there’s a lot of tough reporting in here like Joe having dinner with his wife and going on bike rides! “ he tweeted.
Reade, a staffer for Biden in 1993 who has claimed he sexually assaulted her, told Fox News on Friday that it was her mother who called into “Larry King Live” in the resurfaced clip and alluded to her daughter’s experience on Capitol Hill. Biden’s campaign has adamantly denied the accusation.
The Intercept on Friday first reported the transcript on the Aug. 11, 1993 broadcast, where the woman — who does not mention sexual assault, or the specific details of Reade’s claim — asks a question to the panel. The clip was later found and published by Newsbusters.
“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,” the caller says.
“In other words, she had a story to tell but, out of respect for the person she worked for, she didn’t tell it?” King inquires.
“That’s true,” the woman responds before King cuts away to a panel to discuss her claim.
Reade says that woman is Jeanette Altimus, her mother.
“This is my mom. I miss her so much and her brave support of me,” Reade tweeted about her mother, who died in 2016.
The Biden campaign referred Fox News to a statement earlier this month from Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield that said: “What is clear about this claim: it is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”
“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women,” 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.”
But Republicans have zoned in on what they see as a lack of aggressive media coverage, of the same kind that accusations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and President Trump received.
“CNN gave airtime to [Kavanaugh accuser] Christine Blasey Ford’s attorneys, her friends, her family. They even aired focus groups on the allegations,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said.”It’s been 24 hrs since evidence from CNN own’s archive emerged corroborating Tara Reade’s story. “How in the world can CNN justify not mentioning it?”
Trump Jr. quote retweeted a tweet from the Kavanaugh hearings in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised Ford’s bravery.
“Far too few people are recognizing Tara Reade’s sheer bravery in sharing her story today. That *must* not be overlooked,” Trump Jr. said.
“Now we’ll see if a different set of rules still applies to Joe Biden,” Erin Perrine, the principal deputy communications for President Trump’s re-election campaign, said in a statement to Fox News. “Maybe now at least one reporter will ask him about it.”
The development has also seen criticism of Democrats from the left of the party, who also accused fellow Democrats of ignoring the claims because it involves Biden.
“The video of Tara Reade’s late mother calling into Larry King to blow the whistle about about [sic] Tara’s sexual assault is being met with relative silence from a cadre of progressives right now and I want you all to know that I see you,” former Sanders senior adviser Winnie Wong tweeted. “We all do.”
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn, Brooke Singman and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.