Biden hires aide who said candidates should not run if accused of sexual misconduct

In a move that was immediately criticized by the Trump campaign, Joe Biden has brought on a senior advisor who once said someone being “accused of sexual harassment or assault” should not run for office.

Joe Biden has been accused of sexual assault by former staffer Tara Reade.

Fox News reports the Biden campaign on Wednesday hired Karine Jean-Pierre, a commentator and former communications director for the left-wing activist group Move On, as a senior adviser — even though less than three years ago, she asserted that sexual misconduct allegations are disqualifying for all candidates for office.

Biden stands accused of sexual assault, which he has denied, along with previously reported incidents of inappropriate touching. The allegations have led to some uncomfortable moments as Biden’s defenders, including academics and media figures, have been confronted with their past comments during Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation fight in 2018.

“I think we’re at a point in time in this country where the ‘#MeToo’ movement has really gotten some traction, we’re finally listening to victims, whether they’re women or men,” Jean-Pierre told CNN’s Jake Tapper in December 2017, when asked if #MeToo had gone too far. “And I think if you’re running for office, you can’t have been accused of sexual harassment or assault. And I think that we really have to take that next step here and make sure that doesn’t happen with anyone in office or out of office.”

Jean-Pierre went on to call President Trump “very misogynistic.” She was responding to the case of Andrea Ramsey, whom Tapper introduced as a former Kansas congressional candidate who dropped out of the race “after news emerged that there was a 2005 lawsuit in which a man accused her of sexual harassment.” Ramsey denied the claim, and said that “in its rush to claim the high ground in a roiling national conversation about harassment, the Democratic Party has implemented a zero tolerance standard.”

Jean-Pierre didn’t respond to Fox News’ request for comment on Wednesday, and the Biden campaign did not immediately comment. Her statements to Tapper, however, matched her previous rhetoric on the #MeToo movement.