Tara Reade called herself the “poster child” for why women don’t come forward with sexual assault allegations during her first on-camera interview since accusing Joe Biden of inappropriate conduct while he was a senator nearly three decades ago.
Reade made her remarks to Megyn Kelly in a 42-minute interview released Friday. She claims the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee sexually assaulted her in 1993 in a corridor in the Capitol. Kelly asked Reade about detractors who question her claims and why no one else has come forward.
“On the subject of others coming forward, some people have said, ‘If a guy is going to be this brazen in a sexual assault case doing this to a woman who works for him in the middle of a Senate office building, in the middle of the day, in the middle of a corridor, and he’s a sitting U.S. senator, there would be others,” Kelly said. “That they can’t believe Tara Reade because there’s no else making an allegation this serious.”
“I think I’m a poster child as to why a woman wouldn’t come forward, aren’t I?” Reade replied. “If you’ve been watching any of social media or the news and seen how I’ve been attacked basically on everything about me, it’s pretty obvious that if you did have, you know, a story to come forward about Joe Biden, it would be pretty daunting, wouldn’t it?”
Reade also called for Biden to withdraw from the 2020 presidential race.
“I wish he would, but he won’t,” she told Kelly. “But I wish he would. That’s how I feel emotionally.”
Biden denied the allegations against him in a statement earlier this week, more than a month after Reade made the claims on a podcast on March 25. Recent media reports suggest Reade may have spoken out about the allegations years ago.
A newly released 1996 court document shows Reade’s ex-husband was told about the incident, and a “Larry King Live” clip from 1993 resurfaced last month, appearing to feature Reade’s mother alluding to “problems” her daughter faced while working as a staffer for the then-U.S. senator from Delaware.
Several Democrats have stuck by Biden amid Reade’s claims — including Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Dianne Feinstein of California — even as it threatens to derail his campaign.
Feinstein recently defended her support of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in 2018, while questioning Reade’s accounts.
“I don’t know this person at all who has made the allegations,” Feinstein told reporters Thursday. “She came out of nowhere. Where has she been all these years? He was vice president.”
Reade said she would take actions similar to Ford, such as testifying under oath and subjecting herself to cross-examination. She noted that she would not take a polygraph examination.
“What kind of precedent does that set for survivors of violence?” she said. “Does that mean we’re presumed guilty and we all have to take a polygraph? I will take one if Joe Biden takes one.”
Kelly noted that President Trump has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault and that Democrats possibly see Reade as an attempt to tarnish Biden’s reputation amid a contentious White House race.
“They see it as an attempt to tar their guy,” Kelly said. “The one guy who could bring down a man they loathe and they kind of just wish you would go away.”
“You don’t have to discredit me or not believe me to vote for Joe Biden,” Reade replies. “Voting is a very personal thing, and I’m not here to influence a national election.”
“This is the highest office in the land. So do we want someone who thinks of women as objects, who thinks that they can just take what they want in that moment for their pleasure and that’s it?” she added. “And I guess that’s the question.”
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.