Fox News reports the New York Times rebuked the Biden campaign on Wednesday, telling Fox News that the reported talking points that have been circulated to prominent Democrats “inaccurately” describe the paper’s reporting on the candidate’s accuser Tara Reade.
“Buzzfeed reported on the existence of talking points being circulated by the Biden campaign that inaccurately suggest a New York Times investigation found that Tara Reade’s allegation ‘did not happen.’ Our investigation made no conclusion either way,” a spokesperson for the Times said in a statement. “As Buzzfeed correctly reported, our story found three former Senate aides whom Reade said she complained to contemporaneously, all of whom either did not remember the incident or said that it did not happen.”
The spokesperson continued, “The story also included former interns who remembered Reade suddenly changing roles and no longer overseeing them, which took place during the same time period that Reade said she was abruptly reassigned. The Times also spoke to a friend who said Reade told her the details of the allegation at the time; another friend and Reade’s brother say she told them of a traumatic sexual incident involving Biden.”
On Tuesday, BuzzFeed News reported that despite strong denials the campaign has issued to various media outlets, aides for former Vice President Joe Biden are taking Reade “seriously enough behind the scenes to coordinate messaging among other Democrats to try to cast the matter as one that’s been thoroughly vetted and determined to be unfounded.”
The “talking points” reportedly read, “Biden believes that all women have the right to be heard and to have their claims thoroughly reviewed In this case, a thorough review by the New York Times has led to the truth: this incident did not happen.”
According to the copies BuzzFeed News obtained from two individual Democratic operatives, the talking points continue, “Here’s the bottom line. Vice President Joe Biden has spent over 40 years in public life: 36 years in the Senate; 7 Senate campaigns, 2 previous presidential runs, two vice presidential campaigns, and 8 years in the White House. There has never been a complaint, allegation, hint or rumor of any impropriety or inappropriate conduct like this regarding him — ever.”
Biden himself has yet to be asked about the allegations.
However, two prominent Democrats who are apparently on Biden’s shortlist of VP picks have indeed cited the Times’ reporting in their defense of the presumptive Democratic nominee: former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
“I believe women deserve to be heard, and I believe that has happened here. The allegations have been heard and looked into, and for too many women, often, that is not the case. The New York Times conducted a thorough investigation, and nothing in the Times review or any other later reports suggests anything other than what I already know about Joe Biden: That he will make women proud as the next President of the United States,” Abrams said in a statement to the Huffington Post earlier on Tuesday.
She offered similar remarks during an interview Tuesday night, repeatedly citing the Times’ reporting to CNN’s Don Lemon.
"I think that he's telling the truth and that this did not happen."
Former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said she believes the denial issued by former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign regarding Tara Reade's allegation of sexual assault in 1993. pic.twitter.com/fKWmSgWk7V
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) April 29, 2020
Klobuchar, too, cited the Times during an April 17 interview on MSNBC.
“He has said, and I agree with this, you’ve got to get to the bottom of every case and all allegations. I think The New York Times — I haven’t read all the stories. I read that one. Your viewers should read that,” Klobuchar told MSNBC anchor Ari Melber. “It was very thorough. They interviewed people. And I have done a lot of work on this. I actually led the effort to change the rules in the U.S. Senate so that it is easier to bring these cases forward and so that we have taxpayers not paying for bad conduct.
“I think this case has been investigated. I know the vice president as a major leader on domestic abuse, I worked with him on that. And I think that, again, the viewers should read the article. It was very thorough.”