Trump Says Biden May Face More Accusers, Calls Reade Convincing
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he found sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden “convincing” and speculated that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee may face even more accusations during the 2020 campaign.
“Look, you got to go through it and he’ll probably have others come out,” Trump said in an interview Friday on the Dan Bongino Show, a podcast hosted by one of his supporters.
More than two dozen women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. The writer E. Jean Carroll has accused him of raping her in the 1990s and is suing him for defamation for denying the allegation. The president has denied all accusations of misconduct.
Trump said Biden’s accuser, former aide Tara Reade, is “far more convincing” than Christine Blasey Ford and three other women who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of assault during his Senate confirmation.
“I watched her and she seems very credible,” Trump said. “The mother was so credible. The mother was great, and I guess a friend of hers came out. So I don’t know, you know, it’s his problem. But I like to get in front of it and I just deny it. If it’s not true, you deny it.”
Biden denied Reade’s accusation in an interview on MSNBC on Friday and called on the National Archives to release any documents “relevant” to her claim. The vice president decided to address the growing controversy as he has faced mounting pressure from Democrats and women’s groups to answer questions about the allegation.
“I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened,” Biden said, adding that he does not remember “any type of complaint she may have made.”
Reade alleges that while she worked in Biden’s Senate office in 1993, he pushed her against a wall in an office building, put his hand up her skirt and sexually assaulted her with his fingers.
In a statement released early Friday, Biden called on media organizations to examine “inconsistencies in her story, which has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways.”
Trump expressed some sympathy for Biden, noting his own history of allegations of rape, inappropriate touching and kissing and sexually charged comments. The president said he has been “a total victim of this nonsense, false accusations.”
The president secretly directed his former fixer Michael Cohen to pay off two women who alleged he had affairs with them before the 2016 election.
“I guess in a way you could say I’m sticking up for him,” Trump said of Biden, in his most extensive comments yet on Reade’s accusation.
“It’s a terrible thing, it’s a very scary thing,” he said. “With that, Biden’s going to have to go out and fight his own battles.”
Trump’s tone on the allegations shifted from Thursday, when he speculated Biden may have been falsely accused by Reade.
“It could be false accusations,” Trump said. “I know all about false accusations. I’ve been falsely charged numerous times. And there is such a thing.”
The president told reporters at the White House he did not “know anything about” the accusations against Biden, but said “I think he should respond.”
Trump’s new press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, defended the president on Friday in her first formal briefing for reporters. She complained that the president’s history of sexual misconduct allegations has been resurfaced in reporting on the accusation against Biden.
“The president has swiftly denied all of the allegations that were raised four years ago. He has always told the truth on these issues,” she said. “The American people had their say in the matter when they elected President Trump as president of the United States.”
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