Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams said Tuesday that the sexual assault allegedly committed by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden “did not happen,” repeating talking points circulated by Biden’s campaign since the scandal broke.
Abrams, who has openly campaigned to be Biden’s running mate, said in a CNN interview the alleged 1993 assault never took place.
“I believe Joe Biden,” she said on CNN. “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 that he is telling the truth and that this did not happen.”
Biden’s campaign has denied an allegation by former Senate aide Tara Reade that Biden assaulted her by penetrating her with his fingers in a congressional hallway in 1993. BuzzFeed reported Tuesday the Biden campaign has advised top surrogates to say the alleged assault “did not happen.”
Abrams tweeted “I believe women” in 2018 after Christine Blasey Ford accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, but Tuesday she simply said she believed women “deserve to be heard.”
Abrams cited a New York Times article published April 12 as proof that Reade’s claim had been properly investigated and found to not be credible—a claim that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), another vice presidential hopeful, also made. The New York Times, however, has said its investigation made no such conclusions, pointing to potential corroborating evidence in the story, such as former colleagues who “remembered Reade suddenly changing roles” at the time Reade claimed the assault took place.
“Our investigation made no conclusion either way,” the paper told the Washington Free Beacon. “The Times also spoke to a friend who said Reade told her the details of the allegation at the time; another friend and Reade’s brother say she told them of a traumatic sexual incident involving Biden.”
Since that story broke, a former neighbor has come out to say that Reade told her in the mid-1990s about the assault. Those developments have not swayed Abrams.
“The New York Times investigation does not support the accusations against the vice president,” Abrams said. “I think that he will make women proud, that he will make America proud.”
Abrams also falsely claimed that while Reade’s accusation was investigated, there was “no investigation” of Ford’s accusation against Kavanaugh. An FBI investigation found no corroboration of the allegations by Ford or Deborah Ramirez against Kavanaugh.