by WorldTribune Staff, May 26, 2020
Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar said she believes Tara Reade’s accusation of sexual assault against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Another member of the so-called “Squad,” New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, recently said Reade’s allegation “certainly seems as though something has happened.”
But, apparently in the eyes of Omar and Ocasio-Cortez, sexual assault isn’t enough to disqualify Biden. Both said they plan on voting for the former vice president in November.
“Believing survivors is consistent with my values,” Omar said in a social media post on Monday. “Yes, I endorsed against Biden and I didn’t pick him as our nominee. With that said, in this interview I did on May 6th, we talked about that and quotes aren’t always in context. I will vote for him and help him defeat Trump.”
Omar’s post came on day after Britain’s Sunday Times published an interview with Omar in which she said she believes Biden sexually assaulted Tara Reade in 1993.
“I do believe Reade,” Omar told the Sunday Times. “Justice can be delayed, but should never be denied.”
Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with NPR: “There have been investigative journalists that have corroborated certain aspects of her account — that is undeniable — [and] have raised questions about other aspects of her account. I’m not sure. Frankly, this is a messy moment, and I think we need to acknowledge that — that it is not clear-cut.”
The 77-year-old Biden has repeatedly denied the sexual assault allegations.
“I recognize my responsibility to be a voice, an advocate, and a leader for the change in culture that has begun but is nowhere near finished,” Biden wrote in a Medium post. “So I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago. They aren’t true. This never happened.”
Eight women, including Reade, have accused Biden of touching them inappropriately or invading their personal space.
• Reade alleged that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993, pressing her against a wall in a Capitol Hill corridor, reaching under her skirt, and digitally penetrating her.
• Lucy Flores, a Democratic politician in Nevada, alleged in March 2019 that Biden came up behind her, put his hands on her shoulders, sniffed her hair, and kissed the back of her head without her consent during a campaign event in 2014.
• Ally Coll, a former Democratic staffer, told The Washington Post in April 2019 that when she met Biden in 2008, he complimented her smile, squeezed her shoulders, and held her “for a beat too long.”
• Sofie Karasek, a progressive organizer, was photographed holding hands and touching foreheads with Biden at the 2016 Academy Awards. Karasek said she felt Biden violated her personal space.
• Amy Stokes Lappos, a small business owner and Democratic political activist, told the Hartford Courant in April 2019 that Biden “put his hands behind my head and pulled me close and I thought, ‘he’s going to kiss me.’ ”
• Caitlyn Caruso said that after she shared her story of sexual assault at a University of Nevada event in 2016, Biden hugged her “just a little bit too long” and put his hand on her thigh. “It doesn’t even really cross your mind that such a person would dare perpetuate harm like that,” Caruso told The New York Times in April 2019. “These are supposed to be people you can trust.”
• DJ Hill alleges Biden rested his hand on her shoulder and moved it down her back at a 2012 fundraising event in Minneapolis. Hill said the encounter made her “very uncomfortable. Only he knows his intent,” Hill told The New York Times in April 2019. “If something makes you feel uncomfortable, you have to feel able to say it.”
• Vail Kohnert-Yount, a former White House intern, said when she met Biden in 2013, he “put his hand on the back of my head and pressed his forehead to my forehead.” Kohnert-Yount also said Biden called her a “pretty girl.”
The Boston Globe reported in June 19 of an interaction between Biden and a voter at a coffee shop before a campaign event in Iowa.
When Biden met the voter’s granddaughter, he asked her age. After she replied that she was 13, Biden turned to her brothers and said, “You’ve got one job here, keep the guys away from your sister.”