Stacey Abrams on sexual assault allegation in opposition to former VP: ‘I consider Joe Biden’

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“I consider that girls should be heard and I consider they should be listened to, however I additionally consider that these allegations should be investigated by credible sources,” Abrams, who has made a public and direct pitch to be Biden’s working mate, advised CNN’s Don Lemon on “CNN Tonight.”

“The New York Occasions did a deep investigation and so they discovered that the accusation was not credible. I consider Joe Biden.”

Her feedback come as Reade’s allegation beneficial properties new consideration whereas Biden — now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee — prepares to tackle President Donald Trump within the basic election. The Occasions report that Abrams referred to didn’t make a dedication on whether or not Reade’s allegation was credible.

In a press release beforehand offered to CNN, Biden’s deputy marketing campaign supervisor and communications director, Kate Bedingfield, denied Reade’s allegation, calling it “unfaithful.”

“Vice President Biden has devoted his public life to altering the tradition and the legal guidelines round violence in opposition to ladies. He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Towards Ladies Act. He firmly believes that girls have a proper to be heard – and heard respectfully,” Bedingfield mentioned. “Such claims also needs to be diligently reviewed by an unbiased press. What is evident about this declare: it’s unfaithful. This positively didn’t occur.”

Reade beforehand advised CNN that in 1993, when she was working as an aide in Biden’s Senate workplace, she was requested to ship a duffel bag to him. In a hall someplace within the Capitol Hill advanced, Reade mentioned, Biden “had me up in opposition to the wall; he used his knee to unfold open my legs” and “put his fingers inside me.”

Reade mentioned that when she pulled away, Biden mentioned to her, “Come on, man. I heard — I assumed you preferred me.” He then seemed indignant, in accordance with Reade, and mentioned, “You’re nothing to me. You’re nothing.” She mentioned that Biden ultimately took her by the shoulders and mentioned phrases to the impact of “You are OK. You are superb,” earlier than strolling away.

Abrams mentioned Tuesday, “I do know Joe Biden and I believe he is telling the reality and that this didn’t occur.”

Nonetheless, for a few of Biden’s supporters and surrogates, questions associated to Reade’s allegation have offered a difficult balancing act — of expressing assist for Biden’s candidacy and character whereas not dismissing a sexual assault allegation.

Requested if the Biden marketing campaign ought to tackle the allegations instantly, Abrams mentioned, “I consider his marketing campaign has been very clear. And I consider that that’s the strategy that they intend to take, and I assist the strategy as a result of, once more, we do not need ladies to ever be afraid to come back ahead.”

“However we even have to acknowledge that allegations must be investigated and that these investigations should be borne out,” she mentioned.

CNN’s DJ Judd and MJ Lee contributed to this report.

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