Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she is satisfied with former Vice President Joe Biden’s handling of sexual assault allegations against him.
During an appearance on CNN Thursday, Pelosi was asked about how the presumptive Democratic nominee is handling the allegation brought against him by former Senate aide Tara Reade. Earlier in the month, Reade filed a lawsuit against Biden and accused him of assaulting her at the U.S. Capitol building in 1993, which Biden’s campaign has categorically denied.
“I have great sympathy for any women who bring forth an allegation. I’m a big, strong supporter of the MeToo movement. I think it has been a great—made a great contribution to our country,” Pelosi said on the program. “And I do support Joe Biden. I’m satisfied with how he has responded. I know him, I was proud to endorse him on Monday, very proud to endorse him. And so I’m satisfied with that,” she added.
The CNN anchor noted that Biden has not directly responded to the allegations against him, asking Pelosi whether the former vice president should do so.
“It is a matter that he has to deal with. But I am impressed with the people who work for him at the time, saying that, absolutely, never heard one iota of information about this, nobody ever brought forth a claim or had anybody else tell them about such a claim,” the House speaker answered.
Biden, who has been mostly staying at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic and is holding online video conferences, hasn’t been asked a single direct question by a reporter about the assault allegations. Only his campaign has responded to the claims.
However, the allegations will likely continue to dog Biden. Before Reade’s claims surfaced, Biden would have likely attacked President Donald Trump’s previous remarks about women, but because of the allegations, he may have to think twice.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last week claimed there is a double standard on how the Democrats and media have been slow to respond to Reade’s claims, compared to the coverage of allegations that were made against Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings.
McConnell told Fox News on Thursday that documents held by the University of Delaware, which have been sealed by the school, should be released to shed light on the Reade allegations.
“When you run for president of the United States, your life is an open book,” he said. “I can’t imagine … that Vice President Biden is not going to have to … release all of the information related to the allegations.”
McConnell stressed that “it’s a very challenging thing” to run for president.
And sexual assault advocacy groups have said that Biden will have to directly address the allegations during the campaign.
“We appreciate that some in the media have taken Tara Reade’s allegations seriously and urge that they be investigated fairly and rigorously,” said Heather Drevna, the vice president of communications for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, according to The Hill. “We also call on Vice President Biden to address the allegations directly and to fully cooperate in an investigation.”