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Crash and burn
Former Vice President and presidential candidate Joe Biden appeared on Tuesday's airing of "Good Morning America," where he said that all women's sexual assault allegations should be believed — but then immediately pushed back against the woman who claimed he sexually assaulted her.
Former Senate aide Tara Reade insists that the former vice president sexually assaulted her in 1993 when he was a senator. Reade revealed that Biden reportedly penetrated her with his fingers against her will during an exchange in a private Senate hallway.
Biden has since denied all allegations.
What are the details?
On Tuesday, Biden told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that all women should be believed.
Last week, Reade told journalist Megyn Kelly that Biden assaulted her, and called for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to drop out of the 2020 presidential race.
During the exchange, Stephanopoulos asked the former vice president, "[W]hat do you say to Americans who believe Tara Reade and won't vote for you because of it?"
Biden responded that it's a voter's "right" to choose to support the Democratic nominee.
"Well," he responded, "that's their right."
"Look, here," he continued. "I think women should be believed. They should have an opportunity to have their case and state it forthrightly what their case is. Then it's the responsibility of responsible journalists like you and everyone else to go out and investigate those. At the end of the day, the truth is the truth."
Biden went on to insist that while it's important for women to be heard and to be believed, the alleged incident that purportedly took place between him and Reade simply never happened.
"[Truth is] what should prevail and the truth is this never happened," he insisted. "This never happened. That's the truth."
Last week, Reade retained the lawyer who represented several Harvey Weinstein accusers.
In a statement, her attorney, Douglas Wigdor, said that it is imperative for sexual assault survivors to be heard.
"We at Wigdor LLP firmly believe that every survivor of sexual assault has the right to competent legal counsel," Wigdor said, "and we will all represent Ms. Reade zealously, just as we would any other victim of sexual violence."
"As Mr. Biden himself has acknowledged, 'Believing women means taking the women's claims seriously when she steps forward, and then vet[ting] it and look[ing] into it ... women have a right to be heard,'" Wigdor's statement continued. "We will help Ms. Reade be heard."
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