The Associated Press reported on Saturday it interviewed Tara Reade Friday about her allegations that former Vice President and presumptive 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden sexually assaulted her in the 1990s when she was an aide in his Senate office but buried that the outlet failed to report on its interviews with Reade in 2019, when she first made public her dealings with Biden.
“The AP declined to publish details of the 2019 interviews at the time because reporters were unable to corroborate her allegations, and aspects of her story contradicted other reporting,” the report said.
The AP report claims that in the 2019 interviews — some of which the media outlet said it deleted “in keeping with the reporter’s standard practice for disposing of old interviews” — does not specifically cite sexual assault but merely that Reade was “uncomfortable” with some of Biden’s attentions, including that “Biden rubbed her shoulders and neck and played with her hair.”
“She said she was asked by an aide in Biden’s Senate office to dress more conservatively and told ‘don’t be so sexy,’” AP reported.
AP further said any official report she made at the time of her interactions with Biden did not “refer to sexual harassment or assault.”
After AP tweeted that headline for its Saturday report, Reade responded with her own tweet: “This is false.”
This is false. https://t.co/w4yXGI1DQm
— taratweets ( Alexandra Tara Reade) (@ReadeAlexandra) May 2, 2020
AP reported on its interviews with Reade on Friday:
Tara Reade, the former Senate staffer who alleges Joe Biden sexually assaulted her 27 years ago, says she filed a limited report with a congressional personnel office that did not explicitly accuse him of sexual assault or harassment.
“I remember talking about him wanting me to serve drinks because he liked my legs and thought I was pretty and it made me uncomfortable,” Reade said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press. “I know that I was too scared to write about the sexual assault.”
Reade said she described her issues with Biden but “the main word I used — and I know I didn’t use sexual harassment — I used ‘uncomfortable.’ And I remember ‘retaliation.’”
Reade described the report after the AP discovered additional transcripts and notes from its interviews with Reade last year in which she says she “chickened out” after going to the Senate personnel office. The AP interviewed Reade in 2019 after she accused Biden of uncomfortable and inappropriate touching. She did not raise allegations of sexual assault against Biden until this year, around the time he became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
AP reported that Reade told the media outlet she didn’t have a copy of the report and added that Biden — in his first public comment on the allegations on Friday — does not remember any complaint against him.
“The AP reviewed notes of its 2019 interviews with Reade after she came forward in March with allegations of sexual assault against Biden. But reporters discovered an additional transcript and notes from those interviews on Friday.” The report went on:
“A recording of one of the interviews was deleted before Reade emerged in 2020 with new allegations against Biden, in keeping with the reporter’s standard practice for disposing of old interviews. A portion of that interview was also recorded on video, but not the part in which she spoke of having ‘chickened out’ on telling all the details of her interactions with Biden.
Reade now claims that Biden sexually assaulted her in a basement of a Capitol Hill office building in 1993, groping her and penetrating her vagina with his fingers.
Reade said she was fired after complaining, according to the AP report. It went on to say:
Two of Reade’s associates said publicly this past week that Reade had conversations with them that they said corroborated aspects of her allegation. One, a former neighbor, said Reade told her about the alleged assault a few years after Reade said it happened. The other, a former coworker, said Reade told her she had been sexually harassed by her boss during her previous job in Washington.
The AP has also spoken to two additional people, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect their families’ privacy, who said Reade had told them about aspects of her allegations against Biden years ago.
“One friend, who knew Reade in 1993, said Reade told them about the alleged assault when it happened. The second friend met Reade more than a decade after the alleged incident and confirmed that Reade had a conversation with the friend in 2007 or 2008 about experiencing sexual harassment from Biden while working in his Senate office.”
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