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Biden sexual assault claim divides Democrats as Republicans pounce

Biden sexual assault claim divides Democrats as Republicans pounceWhile high-profile Democrats voice support for the presumptive presidential nominee, some progressives call for a closer look at Tara Reade’s allegationsThe allegations of sexual misconduct by Tara Reade against the former vice-president Joe Biden have caused new fault lines within the Democratic party, especially between its left wing and the establishment.Reade is a former Biden Senate staffer who has accused the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee of sexually assaulting her while she worked in his office in the 1990s. Biden and his campaign have flatly denied the allegations and major news outlets have continued to investigate.Meanwhile, liberal grassroots activists have clashed with centrist Democrats and senior party figures over how to respond to the allegations. The arguments often point to how Democrats approached previous high-profile sexual assault allegations, such as the accusations by Christine Blasey Ford against Brett Kavanaugh during the now supreme court justice’s contentious confirmation hearings.Peter Daou, a Democratic strategist who has argued that the “Democratic establishment” has moved to undercut Reade’s allegations, said three basic factions had emerged.“You have Biden’s opponents on the Republican side and they’re going to seize on this,” Daou said, adding that there was also “the left – progressives and leftists” who want to see Reade’s allegations taken more seriously, and then the Democratic party establishment figures who are trying to undermine Reade. The latter group, Daou said, is “just absolutely wedded to Biden right now, will not let go, so they’ll defend him at all costs – even if that means completely destroying the MeToo movement”.Daou pointed out that other women have accused Biden of unwanted touching. In response to those accusations, Biden has said he would work to better respect other people’s personal spaces.Republicans have been eager to confront as many rank-and-file Democratic politicians as possible with the allegations. The National Republican Congressional Committee has been blasting out emails targeting specific Democratic House candidates over Reade’s claims.The subject line of a Friday email from the NRCC read: “Why does McBath not believe Tara Reade?” It asked why the Georgia congresswoman Lucy McBath was “yet to say whether she’ll stand by her endorsement of Biden amidst allegations of sexual assault, although she was quick to support Dr Ford during the Kavanaugh hearings”.Similar questions are being asked by progressives and some more moderate Democratic party leaders. David Sirota, a former speechwriter and senior strategist for Bernie Sanders, has argued that Democrats have been too eager to discount Reade’s allegations.A small group of insurgent Democratic congressional candidates have begun to raise concerns that Reade’s allegations are not being taken seriously enough. Rebecca Parson, a liberal Democrat challenging the Washington state congressman Derek Kilmer, said in an interview on Friday that Biden should step down over Reade’s allegations. Parson said she believes Reade and thinks the charges create too much of a vulnerability for Biden in the 2020 presidential election.“I want to defeat Donald Trump in November and yes, I’m a progressive and I’m in the left-wing of the party, but something that really unites the people in the centrist wing and the progressive wing is we all want to defeat Trump,” Parson said. “I don’t think we do that with somebody who has all these allegations against him, especially because Donald Trump has assault allegations against him and unfortunately with Donald Trump, Trump doesn’t care about being a hypocrite.”Parson added: “I think that Biden should withdraw and any one or more of the candidates who aren’t running should restart their campaign because the Democratic primary isn’t over yet.”Those arguments aren’t shared by many of the most high-profile figures in the Democratic party. The New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a leading advocate against sexual harassment and sexual assault, told reporters on Tuesday that she supported Biden amid the allegations.“So when we say believe women, it’s for this explicit intention of making sure there’s space for all women to come forward to speak their truth, to be heard. And in this allegation, that is what Tara Reade has done,” Gillibrand said, according to CNN. “She has come forward, she has spoken, and they have done an investigation in several outlets. Those investigations Vice-President Biden has called for himself. Vice-President Biden has vehemently denied these allegations and I support Vice-President Biden.”The former Georgia state house minority leader Democrat Stacey Abrams also said she believed Biden.“The New York Times did a deep investigation and they found that the accusation was not credible. I believe Joe Biden,” Abrams said in late April.Others, including the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, have also said they support Biden in response to Reade’s allegations.But Parson is not alone in arguing that at this point Biden should drop out of the race. A Politico/Morning Consult poll found that over a third of Democratic voters surveyed say the party should switch out Biden as their presumptive nominee because of the allegations.Other Democrats argued that Biden can both adequately address Reade’s allegations and still be a viable opponent against Trump. The Massachusetts congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, a progressive favorite, wrote a Medium post arguing that the allegations can be examined without undercutting Biden’s chances of beating Trump.“I reject the false choice that my party and our nominee can’t address the allegations at hand and defeat the occupant of the White House,” Pressley wrote.

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Don Lemon Grills Stacey Abrams on Joe Biden Sexual Assault Allegation

Don Lemon Grills Stacey Abrams on Joe Biden Sexual Assault AllegationStacey Abrams has made her ambition to be Joe Biden’s running mate abundantly clear over the last couple of weeks. And to that end, she offered the presumptive Democratic nominee her unwavering support when questioned by CNN’s Don Lemon about the sexual assault allegation against Biden on Tuesday night.  “As someone who wants to be his vice president, I think it’s important that we speak about something that’s in the news now,” Lemon said near the end of his conversation with the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, before laying out the details of Tara Reade’s claim. “CNN has now spoken on the record with her former neighbor who says Reade told her about the allegation within a few years of the alleged incident,” Lemon said. “Biden’s campaign says untrue, never happened. Is this a credible allegation?” “I believe that women deserve to be heard and I believe that they need to be listened to,” Abrams said carefully. “But I also believe that those allegations have to be investigated by credible sources.” She cited an in-depth New York Times investigation that found the accusation was “not credible,” though new information has emerged in the two weeks since it was published. “I believe Joe Biden,” Abrams said. “I believe that he is a person who has demonstrated that his love of family, his love of our community, has been made perfectly clear through his work as a congressional leader and as an American leader. I know Joe Biden and I think he's telling the truth and that this did not happen.” With her conclusion, Abrams appeared to be parroting official Biden campaign talking points, which read, in part, “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.”Stephen Colbert Grills Bernie Sanders: Are You Endorsing Biden or Not?Lemon could have left things there, but instead he confronted Abrams with a tweet she posted in 2018 that condemned Senate Republicans for “rushing” Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation forward despite the “courageous and compelling testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.” “Are you applying a different standard now?” Lemon asked. “Not at all,” Abrams replied. “I believed then and I believe now that women deserve to be heard because too often they are not. And Tara Reade deserved to have her story listened to and investigated. What was happening with Christine Blasey Ford was there there was no investigation. There was a rush to move it forward so no investigation was conducted.” “So you said you’ve heard her, you’ve heard enough, you don’t believe her, you believe Joe Biden,” Lemon said.After once again returning to the Times investigation, Abrams said, “I believe the Biden I know. And I think he will make women proud, that he will make America proud.” Asked if Biden needs to “address this more directly and more publicly,” Abrams said, “I believe his campaign has been very clear. And I believe that is the approach that they intend to take and I support the approach. “We don’t want women to ever be afraid to come forward,” she concluded. “But we also have to recognize that allegations should be investigated and that those investigations need to be borne out.” Anderson Cooper Dumbfounded by Trump’s ‘Sarcasm’ Excuse: Does He Think We’re ‘Morons’Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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Former Senate staffer accuses Joe Biden of sexual assault

Former Senate staffer accuses Joe Biden of sexual assaultA former aide to Joe Biden is accusing the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee of sexually assaulting her during the early 1990s when he was a senator. In two recent interviews with The Associated Press, Tara Reade alleged the assault occurred in the basement of a Capitol Hill office building in the spring of 1993. It’s not the first time Reade has made an accusation against the former vice president.

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