Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) quickly pivoted to politics after being asked by reporters if he believed Tara Reade's sexual assault allegations against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden Tuesday.
The top Senate Democrat said that he found Biden's explanation "sufficient" before quickly adding that he believed the former vice president would make a great president and help Democratic prospects of taking back the Senate in the fall.
"Look, before the #MeToo movement, women were not listened to who were telling what had happened to them. Since #MeToo, women are listened to," Schumer noted in his response.
"Now I've heard Joe Biden's explanation. I think it's sufficient," he continued. "I think he will be a great candidate. I think he will be a great president. And I think he will help us take back the Senate."
Schumer's answer — in which he explicitly leans into his political preferences — adds weight to the notion that many Democrats are willing to overlook the seriousness of allegations in order to ensure their candidate is elected president. This is a far cry from the way that top Democrats approached the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
Other top Democratic figures, such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), have also elected to stand by Biden amid the allegations.
Reade, a congressional aide who worked for Biden, accused Biden of sexual assault in a Senate basement hallway in 1993. But Biden has insisted that while all women should be believed, the incident Reade alleges simply never took place.
It could be that Schumer is attempting to cater to the left this time around, especially after the lawmaker was laced by leftist groups for not initially securing an "all out resistance" to Kavanaugh's appointment.
Reade's lawyer shot back in a statement Tuesday, saying that Schumer's answer amounts to "simply accepting Biden's blanket denial." He suggested that the Biden campaign has not provided an "explanation," as Schumer suggests, but has simply denied the accusations.
"Schumer's comment is absolutely nonsensical as Biden hasn't provided any explanation," said Douglas Wigdor, Reade's attorney. "Is Schumer simply accepting Biden's blanket denial? Seems like a complete double standard."