Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand declared on Tuesday that she stands by presidential candidate Joe Biden, despite the violent sexual assault allegation made against him.
Gillibrand, one of Congress’s most vocal supporters of the #MeToo movement, said she doesn’t believe the allegations made by Tara Reade have any merit.
“I stand by Vice President Biden,” Gillibrand replied when asked about the allegation on a conference call. “He’s devoted his life to supporting women and he has vehemently denied this allegation.”
In an interview with the AP, Reade detailed a 1993 encounter she says occurred when she was asked by a manager to bring Senator Biden his gym bag, as he was on his way down to the Senate gymnasium. Reade claims Biden shoved her up against a wall in the basement, groped her, and then forcefully penetrated her with his fingers.
“He was whispering to me and trying to kiss me at the same time, and he was saying, ‘Do you want to go somewhere else?’”she said. “I remember wanting to say stop, but I don’t know if I said it out loud or if I just thought it. I was kind of frozen up.”
Reade said that when she tried to pull away from Biden, he looked “shocked and surprised” and replied, “Come on, man, I heard you liked me.”
Gillibrand’s disgusting defence of Biden seems hypocritical given the fact that she called on then-Sen. Al Franken to resign after women accused him of sexual misconduct in 2018.
When asked about possible comebacks for Franken and journalist Mark Halperin over the summer, Gillibrand stated that the United States is a country of second chances.
“Anyone who wants a second chance, it’s always there for everyone,” she said. “We’re a country that believes in second chances.”
Gillibrand was also an aggressive defender of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when she made baseless sexual assault allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“I believe her,” she told MSNBC in September 2018. “Her story is credible. If you listen to everything about it, the fact that she told her therapist about it five years ago.”
Breitbart.com reports: Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, issued a statement earlier this month denying Reade’s allegations, though Biden himself has not addressed them.
“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women. 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. What is clear about this claim: it is untrue. This absolutely did not happen,” said Bedingfield.
On Monday, Business Insider reported that Lynda LaCasse, a former neighbor to Reade, said the two discussed her alleged allegation against the former vice president between 1995 and 1996.
“I remember her saying, here was this person that she was working for and she idolized him,” LaCasse told the news outlet. “And he kind of put her up against a wall. And he put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside her. She felt like she was assaulted, and she really didn’t feel there was anything she could do.”
“She was crying,” LaCasse continued. “She was upset. And the more she talked about it, the more she started crying. I remember saying that she needed to file a police report.”
“I don’t remember all the details,” she added. “I remember the skirt. I remember the fingers. I remember she was devastated.”
LaCasse, who supports Biden for the White House, is the first person to corroborate Reade’s allegations.
In addition to LaCasse, Lorraine Sanchez, an ex-legislative staffer to California State Senator Jack O’Connell, told Business Insider that Reade complained in the mid-90s about being “sexually harassed by her former boss while she was in DC.”
“What I do remember,” Sanchez explained “is reassuring her that nothing like that would ever happen to her here in our office, that she was in a safe place, free from any sexual harassment.”
Sanchez said Reade was referring to Biden.