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The former Senate staffer accusing former Democratic presidential candidate Biden of sexual assault was “stunned” by the reaction of Democrats to her allegations.
Tara Reade admitted feeling “discounted” in the way some female Democrats she actually admired have reacted to her claims, saying in a recent interview that the surprising treatment has left her feeling betrayed and has even brought her to tears.
“It was really devastating when [Senator Kirsten] Gillibrand and Stacey Abrams and Hillary Clinton, all on the same day, just basically implied my story wasn’t true and they believe Joe Biden. I can’t describe to you what that felt like,” Reade told BuzzFeed News in a story published Thursday.
Describing herself as a “lifelong Democrat,” Reade expressed her dismay at how she was not given any credibility by the women she admired and who have each come out supporting the former vice president.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who endorsed Biden this week saying she was “thrilled to be part of your campaign — to not only endorse you but to help highlight a lot of the issues that are at stake in this presidential election.”
Abrams, a former gubernatorial candidate in Georgia who has been actively campaigning to be chosen as Biden’s running mate, defended him against Reade’s allegations.
“I know Joe Biden, and I think he’s telling the truth and this did not happen,” she told CNN.
“I just— I’m stunned,” Reade told BuzzFeed.
“They didn’t just say, ‘Oh, we’re standing with Joe Biden until we hear more.’ They just discounted me. They marginalized me. They said they didn’t believe me. I can’t tell you,” Reade said. “I cried for a while because they’re important in my life. They’ve been figures that I looked up to.”
The 56-year-old has alleged that while she was an aide for then-Delaware Sen. Biden in 1993, he sexually assaulted her. Biden’s campaign has denied the allegations but the Democrat has been criticized for not coming forward himself and addressing the claims.
Many have recently lambasted Biden and other Democrats for their hypocrisy in dismissing Reade while they had pounced on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh over sexual allegations during his nomination process.
Biden, on whether Kavanaugh deserves the presumption of innocence: “the woman should be given the benefit of the doubt and not be abused again by the system.” pic.twitter.com/D4cGTYbaQm
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 1, 2020
Reade indicated that only Fox News consistently reached out to interview her initially when she began publicly opening up about the alleged incident. And while she admitted she was not interested in having her story be “hijacked” if she appeared on Fox News, she also expressed disappointment with how long the media took to reach out to her, and by the tone of the coverage she was receiving.
“I used to think that a Republican talking point was to call the mainstream media biased,” Reade said.
“So I used to think, ‘Oh, that’s just a talking point for them. I don’t believe it.’ But now I’m living it [in] real time, and I see it — like, I see it for what it is. Because I am a Democrat, or I was. But now I’m not anything, really. I’m politically homeless,” she added.
Reade told BuzzFeed that she “hasn’t made a decision” about an appearance on Fox News, though she was quoted in the New York Times on Thursday about a potential interview with the network this weekend.
Actress Rose McGowan, a victim of convicted rapist and former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, has come to Reade’s defense, saying she was being “belittled and dragged and positioned as just this kind of kooky — which of course they did to me — this kooky woman out there, you know, because she doesn’t look like the more J.Crew friendly type of blonde they prefer.”
“She’s a very scared, damaged, traumatized woman,” McGowan said in an interview this week, adding that Reade is challenging “one of the most powerful men on earth. And when you mess with power, they mess back.”
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