Joe Biden’s accuser walks back sexual assault allegation

Tara Reade, Joe Biden's accuser changes story
Tara Reade, Joe Biden’s accuser changes story

Tara Reade, the former U.S. Senate staffer who alleged Joe Biden sexually assaulted her 27 years ago, has changed her story.

In an interview with AP, she now claimed she filed a limited report with a congressional personnel office that did not explicitly accuse him of sexual assault or harassment.

“I remember talking about him wanting me to serve drinks because he liked my legs and thought I was pretty and it made me uncomfortable,” Reade said.

“I know that I was too scared to write about the sexual assault.”

Reade said she described her issues with Biden but “the main word I used — and I know I didn’t use sexual harassment — I used ‘uncomfortable.’ And I remember ‘retaliation.’”

Reade described the report after the AP discovered additional transcripts and notes from its interviews with Reade last year in which she said she “chickened out” after going to the Senate personnel office.

The AP interviewed Reade in 2019 after she accused Biden of uncomfortable and inappropriate touching.

She did not raise allegations of sexual assault against Biden until this year, around the time he became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

The existence of the Senate report has become a key element of the accusations against Biden, which he has flatly denied.

Reade said she doesn’t have a copy of the report, and Biden said Friday that he is not aware that any complaint against him exists.

He asked the Senate and the National Archives to search their records to try to locate a complaint from Reade.

But Reade is suggesting that even if the report surfaces, it would not corroborate her assault allegations because she chose not to detail them at the time.

According to a transcript of her 2019 interview with the AP, Reade said: “They have this counselling office or something, and I think I walked in there once, but then I chickened out.”

She made a similar statement in a second interview with AP that same day, according to written notes from the interview.

On Friday, Reade said she was referring to having “chickened out” by not filing full harassment or assault allegations against Biden.

In multiple interviews with the AP on Friday, Reade insisted she filed an “intake form” at the Senate personnel office, which included her contact information, the office she worked for and some broad details of her issues with Biden.

Reade was one of eight women who came forward last year with allegations that Biden made them feel uncomfortable with inappropriate displays of affection.

Biden acknowledged the complaints and promised to be “more mindful about respecting personal space in the future.”