Members of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) now-suspended 2020 presidential campaign are seeing red over allegations that former Vice President Joe Biden sexually assaulted a former staffer in the mid-1990s, when he was a powerful Democratic Senator, and they believe this may be the opportunity they’ve been waiting for to swap out the presumptive Democratic nominee.
The media has been notoriously silent on Tara Reade’s allegations, which stem from her time as an aide in Biden’s Senate offices during the Clinton administration. Reade made the claims last week, while a guest on a progressive podcast, and has since filed a report with Washington, D.C., police, and produced friends and acquaintanecs who say Reade gave them contemporanous accounts of the attack.
On Saturday, the Intercept discovered a clip of a woman, believed to be Reade’s late mother, calling into the “Larry King Live” show around the same time as the alleged attack, asking the news program’s panel whether her daughter, a victim of “sexual harassment” from a high-powered D.C. lawmaker, should bring the incident to the attention of authorities.
Biden allies have scrambled to circle the wagons, in some cases accusing Reade of being a “Russian plant,” tossed into the mix to throw the 2020 presidential election to incumbent President Donald Trump, using a 2018 Medium post, loosely connected to Reade, to prove her allegiance to Vladimir Putin.
“Read this love fest for Putin by Alexandra Tara Reade,” one Democrat tweeted, referring to the post. “Is this the same person who just made an accusation against @JoeBiden?”
Sanders’ former advisors, though, have taken a different tack, accusing mainstream Democrats of deliberately silencing the claims to protect Biden’s candidacy.
“The video of Tara Reade’s late mother calling into Larry King to blow the whistle about about 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. We all do,” former Sanders campaign adviser Winnie Wong tweeted Sunday.
“Progressives didn’t make this happen,” Briahna Joy Gray, Sanders former press secretary added. “Corporate Democrats chose Biden.”
Gray has been an outspoken Biden opponent, parting ways with her former boss after he dropped out of the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination and endorsed Biden and, at one point, even suggesting that Biden’s nomination had been orchestrated and that Sanders had no choice but to comply with Democrats’ plans.
Biden has denied Reade’s claims through his campaign spokesperson but has not spoken directly on the issue. Typically, Biden’s surrogates — including possible running mates — would be asked about Reade’s claims, but of the three possible candidates for Biden’s Vice President were scheduled on cable news talk shows Sunday, none were eager to discuss the alleged incident.
Sanders has addressed the issue only in vague terms, telling media, that Reade’s claims are “relevant,” but going nor further: “I think it’s relevant to talk about anything. And I think any woman who feels that she was assaulted has every right in the world to stand up and make her claims,”
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