Per Huffpost, a former Senate aide to Joe Biden accused him this week of sexually assaulting her nearly 30 years ago. But television hosts who have interviewed the former vice president since she went public with her allegation have so far failed to ask him about it.
In an interview with podcast host Katie Halper published in part on Wednesday, Tara Reade said she had been working in Biden’s Senate office in 1993 when he kissed her and penetrated her with his fingers without her consent. Biden’s presidential campaign has denied the allegation.
Since Wednesday, Biden has appeared on CNN and NBC, as well as a makeshift quarantine edition of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” that aired on YouTube. But none of the hosts broached the subject of the recent assault claim.
Neither ABC, CNN nor NBC immediately responded to HuffPost’s requests for comment.
On Thursday, Kimmel tweeted his interview with Biden as part of his “mini monologue” during an episode of his show, filmed at his home during the coronavirus pandemic. The two joked about baseball and discussed ways to curb the spread of the virus. The sexual assault allegation never came up. To be fair, most late night hosts don’t often ask hard-hitting questions.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) March 27, 2020
The next day, Biden sat for an hourlong, live town hall hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Though the event was primarily focused on the ongoing pandemic, some viewers criticized the network for not including at least one question about the allegation.
“How does CNN host a town hall with Joe Biden and not ask about the former senate aide who has publicly accused him of sexual assault?” tweeted journalist Michael Sainato.
Fox News reports Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden, who has previously said that women leveling misconduct accusations should be presumptively believed, sat for another television interview Sunday — and again wasn’t asked about the recent accusation by former Senate staffer Tara Reade that the former vice president sexually assaulted her in 1993.
Speaking to NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Biden discussed everything from whether sanctions on Iran should be suspended during the coronavirus pandemic (“I would need more information to make that judgment,” Biden responded) to whether Bernie Sanders should drop out of the race (“I think it’s up to Bernie to make the judgment whether or not he should stay in the race or not stay in the race,” Biden said.)
Pressed by anchor Chuck Todd on Trump’s record-high approval ratings, Biden downplayed the news: “In every single crisis we have had … president’s ratings have always gone up.”
Biden went on to offer some advice to the president. “He should be focusing on making sure we are in a situation where we are able to see to it that unemployment benefits can get to people,” Biden said.
But Todd, like CNN’s Anderson Cooper during a virtual town hall on Friday, didn’t pose any questions to Biden concerning Reade, despite the former vice president’s previous stance on similar accusations. Both Cooper and Todd extensively covered the decades-old accusations against Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real,” Biden said during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. He added that was true “whether or not she forgets facts, whether or not it’s been made worse or better over time.”
Instead of asking about the alleged sexual assault, Todd queried Biden as to whether Trump had “blood on his hands” over the coronavirus pandemic. (“I think that’s a little too harsh,” Biden responded.) For his part, Todd moderated a Democratic presidential debate weeks after the Trump administration closed off travel from China, and asked no questions about coronavirus.
Biden: “In every single crisis we have had … president’s ratings have always gone up.” pic.twitter.com/WzB4qXjaDY
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 29, 2020