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Tara Reade allegations rattle Biden’s VP search

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Whitmer, a sexual assault survivor who tweeted in 2017 that “I’m saying #MeToo in hopes that future generations won’t have to” and a yr later tweeted “I believe Dr. Ford”, prevented voicing clear assist for Reade’s allegations.

“I think women should be able to tell their stories,” she informed NPR earlier this month. “I think that it is important that these allegations are vetted, from the media to beyond. And I think that, you know, it is something that no one takes lightly. But it is also something that is, you know, personal. And so it’s hard to give you greater insight than that, not knowing more about the situation.”

Other prospects on Biden’s shortlist have chosen silence. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who equally believed Ford, hasn’t spoken out about Reade. Nor has Florida Rep. Val Demings, who in 2018 wore black to Trump’s State of the Union speech to face in solidarity with harassment and abuse victims. She, too, supported Ford.

“As a law enforcement officer, I saw how hard it is to come forward after a sexual assault. I am so proud of everyone who is sharing their stories today about #WhyIDidntReport. I believe you, and I stand with you,” Demings tweeted in September 2018.

So far, Biden has refused to touch upon Reade’s allegations, declining media interviews or granting these the place he was not asked about Reade’s accusations.

He had an opportunity to deal with the problem Wednesday evening throughout a Florida digital fundraiser the place an activist needed him to touch upon sexual assault within the navy.

“Look, we have to change the culture of abuse in this country,” Biden mentioned, sticking tightly to the problem of assault within the navy. One donor on the Zoom assembly informed POLITICO he thought Biden was going to speak about Reade as a result of “I thought the question was put on the list with that in mind.”

A Senate Democrat who helps Biden mentioned the allegations haven’t affected the vice presidential search and that Biden is just not searching for individuals who can defend him.

“That’s not Joe,” the senator mentioned. “This has been thoroughly, deeply researched by The Washington Post, New York Times, AP. If in several weeks of having several reporters each on it they’ve concluded there’s nothing to suggest there’s a case here? That certainly satisfies me.”

The Biden marketing campaign greater than per week in the past gave surrogates talking points revolving round deputy marketing campaign supervisor Kate Bedingfield’s denials of the costs and a false characterization claiming the Times discovered “this incident did not happen” — a willpower the paper by no means made.

Former Georgia 2018 gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams additionally repeated the marketing campaign’s speaking factors on CNN Tuesday and gave the clearest assertion about the place she stands: “I believe Joe Biden.”

For now, the marketing campaign is counting on a system that has labored since he introduced his candidacy: don’t rush, don’t overreact and don’t attempt to get forward of a disaster that could be consuming activists and the information media on Twitter however that voters aren’t speaking about.

Biden additionally doesn’t wish to seem to demonize Reade as a result of it might damage the broader explanation for supporting women who’re accusers, mentioned an adviser to the previous vp. But the marketing campaign expects he’ll ultimately focus on the problem publicly.

The response by Biden’s marketing campaign and surrogates to the accusations from Reade have dissatisfied some women’s rights activists and others.

Denise Krepp, a former U.S. Maritime Administration chief counsel who mentioned she was pressured to give up her job in 2012 throughout the Obama administration as a result of she referred to as for an unbiased investigation of sexual assault allegations on the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, tweeted Wednesday that she wouldn’t take part in an “Obama Alumni” fundraiser Friday for Biden till he spoke about Reade. Krepp mentioned the potential operating mates for Biden additionally must be extra vocal, though she understands that might be difficult.

“They could end up being in the situation I ended up in, where you’re accused of being disloyal. But disloyal to whom?” she mentioned. “Your job is not to be quiet. Your job is to answer these questions.”

Burgess Everett contributed to this report.

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