Joe Biden

‘I Wouldn’t Vote for Me If I Believed Tara Reade’: Biden Says of Allegations

The former vice president said he didn’t remember Reade, who worked for him for less than a year in 1993, two decades into Biden’s 36-year Senate tenure

In this March 25, 2020, file photo from video provided by the Biden for President campaign, Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual press briefing.
Biden for President via AP

Former Vice President Joe Biden, after again emphatically denying the claim of a former staffer that he sexually assaulted her nearly three decades ago, acknowledged for the first time Thursday the dilemma now facing some potential supporters in November, saying: “They should vote with their heart.”

"If they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn't vote for me. I wouldn't vote for me if I believed Tara Reade," Biden told Lawrence O’Donnell during an extended interview Thursday on MSNBC.

Biden, the apparent Democratic presidential nominee, said he didn’t remember Reade, who worked for him for less than a year in 1993, two decades into Biden’s 36-year Senate tenure. And while he again said that all women who come forward with accounts of abuse or harassment "should be taken seriously," he also said it should "be thoroughly vetted," and charged that Reade’s story "has changed as it's gone on."

"But I don't want to question her motive," he added. "I don't want to question anything other than to say the truth matters. This is being vetted. It's been vetted.

"They went and people interviewed scores of my employees over my whole career. 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? I promise you, it never happened," Biden said.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com

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