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Biden Says Voters Who Believe Tara Reade 'Probably Shouldn't Vote For Me'

While denying the sexual assault allegation, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had this to say to potential voters: "I wouldn't vote for me if I believed Tara Reade."
Matt Rourke
While denying the sexual assault allegation, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had this to say to potential voters: "I wouldn't vote for me if I believed Tara Reade."

Former Vice President Joe Biden again denied the sexual assault allegation made against him by former Senate staffer Tara Reade in an interview on MSNBC Thursday night, but added that voters who stand by Reade should not support him.

"If they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn't vote for me," Biden said when asked what message he would give to female voters who accept Reade's allegation as true, but were planning on supporting him.

"I wouldn't vote for me if I believed Tara Reade," Biden added.

Reade alleges that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 while she was working in his Senate office. She came forward publicly with the allegation in March. The former Senate staffer said last year that Biden had made her physically uncomfortable while she was working for him, but she did not make an assault accusation at that time.

In the Thursday interview, Biden added that he does not remember Reade and further disputed her allegation, citing that her claims have shifted over the past year.

"Look at Tara Reade's story, it changes considerably, and so — but I don't want to question her motive. I don't want to question anything other than to say the truth matters," Biden said.

He later added, "This is just totally, thoroughly, completely out of character, and the idea that in a public place, in a hallway, I would assault a woman?"

Biden's statement prompted a response from White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Friday morning.

Later in the interview, Biden was asked if he would pledge not to pardon President Trump if investigations were to continue that involve Trump or those that work for him.

"Absolutely yes, I commit," Biden said, adding that he also would not involve himself in in Justice Department or congressional investigations of that matter if he were elected.

"It's hands off completely," Biden said.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elena Moore is a production assistant for the NPR Politics Podcast. She also fills in as a reporter for the NewsDesk. Moore previously worked as a production assistant for Morning Edition. During the 2020 presidential campaign, she worked for the Washington Desk as an editorial assistant, doing both research and reporting. Before coming to NPR, Moore worked at NBC News. She is a graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and is originally and proudly from Brooklyn, N.Y.

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