The fissures have quickly begun to show in the progressive coalition as the sexual assault allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden heats up. While some powerful women have opted to just ignore the situation and endorse Joe Biden anyway, others are noticing the glaring hypocrisy.
On Wednesday, comedienne Sarah Silverman blasted Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) for standing by Joe Biden after previously calling on Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to resign when the #MeToo movement put him in its crosshairs.
“But u called on [Al Franken] to resign w/out the ethics investigation HE asked for??” Silverman tweeted.
But u called on @alfranken to resign w/out the ethics investigation HE asked for??
Kirsten Gillibrand on Tara Reade allegation: 'I support Vice President Biden' – CNNPolitics https://t.co/sUm4oYN44j
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) April 29, 2020
Franken resigned from his seat in 2017 over a spate of #MeToo allegations that began when talk-show host Leeann Tweeden accused him of forcibly kissing her during a USO show rehearsal. Her allegation was backed by a photograph she shared of him mockingly groping her while she slept. Following her revelation, another seven women came forward with allegations against Franken of inappropriate touching or kissing. He denied all of them.
Sarah Silverman has previously said he was “bullied” into resigning for political reasons.
“I understand that I may have cognitive distortion, because I love him so much. But all I can say is, and he may not be excited about this, but he has no sexuality,” she said. “I believe in my heart of heart of hearts he never copped a feel.”
“I’m so sad that he got bullied into resigning, because all he loved in this world was being a senator and representing the people of Minnesota. I’ve never met a more pure person,” she added. “This is a guy whose passion was serving people and making the world a better place. There’s a lot of baby-in-bathwater stuff, I think. We’ll just get it in the process.”
In March, Tara Reade claimed that then-Senator Joe Biden sexually assaulted her while she served as an aide in his Senate offices during the Clinton administration. She has since detailed her account in multiple interviews and filed a criminal complaint against the former vice president with the Washington, D.C., police department. A former neighbor of Reade and Reade’s brother have both publicly stated that Reade told them of the alleged assault in the 1990s. Recently surfaced evidence also suggests that Reade’s mother called into CNN’s Larry King in the 1990s to complain about a prominent senator with whom her daughter had “problems.”
On Wednesday, Sen. Gillibrand endorsed Joe Biden, arguing that media outlets have “investigated” Tara Reade’s claims.
“When we say believe women, it’s for this explicit intention of making sure there’s space for all women to come forward to speak their truth, to be heard. And in this allegation, that is what Tara Reade has done,” Gillibrand said. “She has come forward, she has spoken, and they have done an investigation in several outlets. Those investigations, Vice President Biden has called for himself. Vice President Biden has vehemently denied these allegations and I support Vice President Biden.”
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