“You and I are there, Joe Biden. Please step forward and be held accountable. And if you feel that you can deal with this in a tangible way, then you know and I know that you have to retreat,” Reade said, in himself. The first interview on camera since Biden personally denied his accusations last week. “You should not have character for the president of the United States.”
Reade made a statement to former Fox News and NBC anchor Megyn Kelly in an interview released on Friday. CNN has spoken with Reade by telephone several times about his allegations. Reade canceled an interview on camera with CNN last weekend.
Reade accused Biden of sexually harassing him in 1993, when he was a maid in his office in the Senate. He told CNN, and confirmed in an interview with Kelly, that in a corridor on Capitol Hill, Biden had pushed him against the wall and forcefully stuck his fingers inside him.
“It never did, it never happened. No. It never happened,” Biden told MSNBC last week.
He said while he didn’t want to question Reade’s motives, “I don’t know why he said this. I don’t know why after 27 years, this suddenly appeared. I don’t understand.”
Asked whether he would swear and would undergo a cross-examination, Reade said in an interview with Kelly that he would do it. About whether he would take the polygraph test, Reade said he would take the test if Biden did it too. “I’m not a villain. Joe Biden has to take a polygraph,” he said.
Last year, Reade was among many women who accused Biden of having physical interactions that made them feel uncomfortable. None of them, including Reade, accused Biden of sexual harassment at the time.
A divorce document from 1996 obtained by CNN shows that Reade’s ex-husband, Ted Dronen, said under penalty of perjury that when he was dating Reade in Washington, DC, in the spring of 1993, he told him about “the problems he faced. ” is working on sexual harassment, in the office of US Senator Joe Biden. “
“It is clear that this event had a very traumatic effect” on Reade, “and that he is still sensitive and influenced today,” Dronen said in the document.
The document is the first written evidence that appears to confirm that Reade told someone close to him about the problem he was experiencing at Biden’s office at the time. This illustrates the problem of sexual harassment, not assault. It also does not specify who is suspected of harassing him.
Reade said he verbally complained to three supervisors at the time about alleged sexual harassment. The three told CNN and other media outlets that they had never received verbal complaints from Reade, and furthermore had never known any complaints of sexual harassment from anyone against Biden in the years they worked with him.
In the divorce documents, Dronen stated that Reade told him “he finally made a deal with the chief of staff of the Senator’s office and left his position.”
Dronen did not respond to CNN’s comment requests. The Biden campaign does not comment on divorce documents. In a specific statement that Reade had reached an agreement with Biden’s chief of staff at the time, the campaign referred to what Ted Kaufman had said earlier to CNN.
Kaufman said he did not remember Reade and that there were no complaints about sexual harassment that had been his concern for the years he had worked with Biden.
“He did not come to me. I will remember him if he is, and I do not remember him,” Kaufman said. “I certainly remember because something like that had never happened in my 50 years in contact with the senator.”
Biden’s aide: ‘More and more inconsistencies arise’
In a statement late Thursday, Biden campaign deputy manager Kate Bedingfield said that every day, “more and more inconsistencies arise” in Reade’s allegations. Bedingfield specifically points to statements made by Reade and an unnamed friend last year.
“Women must benefit from doubt. They must be able to go ahead and share their stories without fear of retribution or danger – and we all have the responsibility to ensure that,” Bedingfield said. “At the same time, we can never sacrifice the truth. And the truth is that these accusations are wrong and that the material that has been presented to support them, under supervision, continues to prove their falsity.”
The Associated Press reported that Reade told the publication last year, when he accused Biden of only sexual harassment: “I am not afraid of him, that he will take me to a room or whatever. That is not a kind of vibration.”
Reached on the phone Friday, the same friend, who was first interviewed by CNN last month, confirmed that he made comments to Vox last year and supported his previous statement.
“What I said a year ago is completely valid,” said the friend. “During the staff meeting, did he try to kiss her? No. Did she rub her neck? Sure. Did she twist her hair around her finger? Sure.”
Asked on Thursday by Kelly why he had previously praised Biden on social media recently a few years ago, Reade said he had long felt “contradictory” about the former vice president.
“I don’t want to talk bad about him, and I’m not ready to tell my history with Joe Biden at the time,” Reade said.
Reade’s new lawyer
Reade’s new interview came the same day when Douglas Wigdor, a prominent sexual harassment and assault lawyer, announced that his company represented Reade. Wigdor has represented accuser Harvey Weinstein, and was a vocal supporter of Christine Blasey Ford when she accused Chief Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual violence.
Wigdor told CNN in an interview Thursday that Reade is not currently paying his law firm and that “at the moment, I don’t anticipate ever being paid for anything.”
Wigdor supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 elections. FEC records examined by CNN show that he gave more than $ 54,000 to Trump’s campaign, Trump Victory – a joint fundraising committee – and Republican National Committee during that cycle. Wigdor did not donate to Trump or Biden this cycle, and also donated to Democrats in the past.
On Thursday, Wigdor insisted that his past support for Trump had “absolutely no effect” on why his company decided to take Reade as a client. He also said that the question of whether he would still be Trump’s supporter was “complicated,” and that he had not yet made a decision on who he would support in this year’s elections.
Fredreka Schouten from CNN contributed to this report.