Former Vice President Joe Biden has been making headlines lately for all of the wrong reasons.
And this time, there’s another bombshell story about the Democratic presidential frontrunner — and it is horrifying.
On Wednesday morning, journalist and podcaster Katie Harper released an audio clip of an interview with Tara Reade, a former staff assistant to Joe Biden, in which Reade claims that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993.
Reade begins by detailing how she was instructed to rush a gym bag to Biden at the time. Upon reaching then-Senator Biden with the bag, Reade claims that he greeted her by name, and proceeded to sexually assault her in a “side area.”
“We were alone, and it was the strangest thing. There was no, like, exchange really, he just had me up against the wall,” Reade claims.
“His hands were on me, and underneath my clothes,” Reade later says. “He went down my skirt, but then up inside. He penetrated me with his fingers.”
Reade alleges that Biden was kissing her and asking her if she “wanted to go somewhere else,” and that after the alleged assault was complete, he said, “C’mon man, I heard you liked me.”
Reade told Harper that Biden’s alleged phrase stuck with her because it made her think about what she “might have said.”
For me, it was like everything shattered in that moment because I knew that we were alone. It was over, right? He wasn’t trying to do anything more – but I looked up to him, he was like my father’s age, he was like this champion of women’s rights in my eyes and I couldn’t believe it was happening. It seemed surreal. I just felt sick because when he pulled back, he looked annoyed, and he said something else to me that I don’t want to say, and then he said – I must have looked shocked … I don’t know how I looked, but I must have looked something because he grabbed me by the shoulders, and said, “You’re okay. You’re fine. You’re okay. You’re fine,” and then he walked away, and went on with his day.
Reade says she was later in a stairwell, “shaking” and “trying to grasp what had just happened and what I should do or what I should say.”
When Harper asked Reade if she wanted to speak about what she alleges Biden said, she replied that she was reluctant because it is “the thing that stays in my head.”
Regardless, she then told Harper what Biden allegedly said:
He just like pointed at me and he said, “You’re nothing to me!” And then he just looked at me and said, “You’re nothing. Nothing.” … I must’ve reacted because that’s when he took me by the shoulders and he said, “You’re okay. You’re fine. You’re okay.”
Harper notes there are no witnesses to the alleged assault, but that “Tara’s brother and Tara’s close friend” both “recalled her telling them about the incident at the time.”
Last year, several women came forward with stories of Biden touching them inappropriately without their consent.
At the time, Biden released the following statement in defense of himself:
Last year, Biden also told millions of Americans when he believes it’s “acceptable” for a man to hit a woman.
During Wednesday night’s presidential debate on MSNBC, Biden said it was okay to hit a woman as long as it was in “self-defense.”
He also said America needs to be “punching back” to combat violence against women.
The exchange began when an MSNBC moderator asked Biden: “Vice President Biden, the #MeToo movement has forced a cultural reckoning around the issue of sexual violence and harassment against women in America. Are there specific actions that you would take early in your administration to address this problem?”
Biden’s response was downright shocking, and the room went silent after hearing what he had said.
“Yes, and by the way, it’s one of the reasons the first thing I would do is make sure we pass the Violence Against Women Act re-authorization,” Biden responded.
“The fact is, what happens now is we in fact have to fundamentally change the culture, the culture of how women are treated. That’s why as Vice President, I asked the president if I could start the movement on the college campuses to say it’s on us, it’s everyone’s responsibility,” he added.
“No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger other than in self-defense,” Biden said, adding, “and that rarely ever occurs.”
Continuing to stick his foot in his mouth, Biden went on to argue that culture must change, adding, “we have to keep punching at it, and punching at it, and punching at it.”
Think about how oblivious one has to be to use the phrase “punching at it” while discussing domestic violence.
Then consider that Biden also suggested on national television in front of millions of viewers that it’s acceptable to hit a woman as long as it was in self-defense.