As the mainstream media had finally began acknowledging the sexual assault allegation that was made against former Vice President Joe Biden, a bizarre development has his former 2020 rivals being asked about the controversy before the presumptive Democratic nominee is.
Since Tara Reade, a former staffer of the then senator, spoke out about the alleged 1993 assault in her March 25 interview with podcast host Katie Halper, Biden had made ten appearances on various news networks and did not face a single question about her claims.
However, Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who have both endorsed Biden, were asked to weigh in on the controversy during their televised interviews on Thursday.
Klobuchar, who is also on Biden’s shortlist of potential VP picks, suggested that Reade’s allegation was put to bed during her appearance on MSNBC, pointing to a report The New York Times ran on Easter Sunday.
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“He has said, and I agree with this, ‘You’ve got to get to the bottom of every case and all allegations.’ I think The New York Times — I haven’t read all the stories. I read that one,” Klobuchar told “The Beat” anchor Ari Melber. “Your viewers should read that. It was very thorough. They interviewed people. And I have done a lot of work on this. I actually led the effort to change the rules in the U.S. Senate so that it is easier to bring these cases forward and so that we have taxpayers not paying for bad conduct.”
She continued, “I think this case has been investigated. I know the vice president as a major leader on domestic abuse, I worked with him on that. And I think that, again, the viewers should read the article. It was very thorough.”
Hours earlier, Biden appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” alongside his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, but was not asked about the allegation.
Sanders, who suspended his presidential campaign last week and officially endorsed Biden on Monday, was asked about remarks made by his progressive ally Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who said on Tuesday that Reade’s allegation is “legitimate to talk about.”
“Do you agree?” Tony Dokoupil of “CBS This Morning” asked.
“I think it’s relevant and 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,” Sanders responded. “I think that she has the right to make her claims and get a public hearing and the public will make their own conclusions about it. I just don’t know enough about it to comment further.”
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Katie Halper, the progressive podcast host who interviewed Reade last month, slammed the media, saying it has given Sanders a “harder time than Biden” on Biden’s own sexual assault allegation.
While Klobuchar and Sanders were asked about Reade’s allegation, Biden skated through 10 different interviews, including with CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Brooke Baldwin, MSNBC anchors Nicolle Wallace and Brian Williams, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, and NBC News’ Chuck Todd.
“If the liberal media think they can put to rest the calls for coverage of Tara Reade’s allegations by asking major Democratic Party figures other than Biden, they’re severely mistaken,” NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck told Fox News. “The person at the center of this story has yet to be asked in broadcast and cable network interviews. And for that, the liberal media will continue to beclown itself in failing to educate voters about the 2020 campaign and instead bolster the notion that they are willingly putting their thumb on the scales for Biden.”
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Progressive journalist Walker Bragman said it is “immensely revealing” that Biden has done so many interviews since Reade came forward and faced “a total of zero questions on the subject.”
“Back in January, a private dinner conversation between Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren sparked a week-long news cycle. Reade’s allegation was ignored for weeks,” Bragman told Fox News, referring to the sexism-charged feud between the two candidates earlier this year. “When it was covered, it was downplayed with the New York Times stealth editing its report to remove references to the other accusation of impropriety Biden has faced from multiple other women.”
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For nearly three weeks, there was a complete media blackout of Reade’s claim. The tides began to shift following Rich McHugh’s report in Business Insider last Friday that Reade had filed a criminal complaint against Biden.
The New York Times ran its first report on the morning of Easter Sunday while The Washington Post and NBC News published theirs hours later.
ABC News republished a report from the Associated Press but has yet to mention it on-air. CBS News reported the allegation on its website on Tuesday and on-air during Thursday’s “CBS This Morning.”
CNN is the only major news outlet to have completely avoided Reade’s claims.
Reade’s story first resurfaced in an article in The Intercept. Podcast host Katie Halper then interviewed Reade, who said that in 1993, a more senior member of Biden’s staff asked her to bring the then-senator his gym bag near the Capitol building, which led to the encounter in question.
“He greeted me, he remembered my name, and then we were alone. It was the strangest thing,” Reade told Halper. “There was no like, exchange really. He just had me up against the wall.”
Reade said she tried to share her story last year, but nobody listened to her. This past Thursday, she filed a criminal complaint against Biden with police in Washington, D.C.
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The Biden campaign vehemently denied Reade’s allegation.
“Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims. We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false,” Kate Bedingfield, the deputy campaign manager and communications director for the Biden campaign, said in a statement to Fox News.
Fox News’ Sam Dorman, Tyler Olson, and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.