Mika Brzezinski confronts Joe Biden with the Tara Reade allegation and he says "unequivocally" that it "never happened."

UPDATED: The original post did not have the full interview, so I want to put this at the top:


So there you have it — his flat denial. No follow up question, no grilling. Just the denial that is exactly what you would expect. No signs of lying jumped out at me. I do wonder if it's something that he could have forgotten. The flat denial implies that if it had happened he would have remembered. He's not asked if he remembers Tara Reade or knows what happened with her employment in his office. I'm not positive this is the entire clip.

Also: At the beginning of the clip, Biden coughs into his closed fist. Not a good look for the coronavirus era, but no reason not to assume that he washed his hands thoroughly afterwards.

ADDED: Based on this WaPo article, I see that the MSNBC clip above is not the full interview. And I see that Biden has issued a written statement, and, in that he "called on the National Archives to release any record of a complaint Reade says she filed." The statement asserts, "If there was ever any such complaint, the record will be there."

On "Morning Joe," according to WaPo, Brzezinski does proceed to grill Biden:
“I’m not going to question her motive,” Biden said of Reade, adding, “I don’t understand it.”

The presumptive nominee said he has never asked anyone to sign a nondisclosure agreement. And Biden said that “women have a right to be heard,” but that “in the end in every case, the truth is what matters.”

In a tense exchange late in the interview, Biden repeatedly resisted the idea of querying his Senate papers at the University of Delaware, saying that they do not contain personnel records.

“Why not just do a search for Tara Reade’s name?” Brzezinski asked.

“Who does that search?” Biden replied. Brzezinski suggested the university or a commission could conduct it. Biden then returned to his initial point — that any complaint would be contained in the archives, not his papers.
That sounds evasive. Yes, if she said she filed a complaint, so the complaint should be in the archive, let's do that search, but why not also search his papers, not to find the complaint, but to see if there is anything at all about her? A big part of her allegations is that she was mistreated as an employee in retaliation for her failure to respond to sexual demands on her. Maybe the papers would show that she had other problems as an employee that justified the consequences she experienced.
He said the papers contained “confidential conversations” with the president and heads of state and he did not want them to be made public while he was still an actively pursuing public office.

Asked what he would say to Reade directly if he could talk to her, Biden responded, “This never ever happened. I don’t know what is motivating her.”
That too is evasive. The question — as paraphrased in this article — isn't why do you think she's accusing you, but how would you speak with her. He immediately inserts his denial. Maybe that's what he'd say to her: This never ever happened. I don’t understand what is motivating you. ADDED: Watching the entire interview — the video at the top of the post — I see that Brzezinski did ask Biden what he thought was motivating Reade.

AND: Let's read Joe Biden's written statement. It begins with 4 paragraphs expressing pride in his role introducing the Violence Against Women Act 25 years ago. He proceeds to talk about his role, as Vice President, starting the “It’s on Us” campaign, addressing college men and telling them that "they had a responsibility to speak out" — "Silence is complicity." He considers himself "a voice, an advocate, and a leader for the change in culture that has begun but is nowhere near finished." And:

So I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago.

They aren’t true. This never happened.

While the details of these allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault are complicated, two things are not complicated. One is that women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced. The second is that their stories should be subject to appropriate inquiry and scrutiny.
The attack on Reade's credibility is based on "inconsistences":
Responsible news organizations should examine and evaluate the full and growing record of inconsistencies in her story, which has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways.

But this much bears emphasizing.

She has said she raised some of these issues with her supervisor and senior staffers from my office at the time. They – both men and a woman – have said, unequivocally, that she never came to them and complained or raised issues. News organizations that have talked with literally dozens of former staffers have not found one – not one – who corroborated her allegations in any way. Indeed, many of them spoke to the culture of an office that would not have tolerated harassment in any way – as indeed I would not have.

There is a clear, critical part of this story that can be verified. The former staffer has said she filed a complaint back in 1993. But she does not have a record of this alleged complaint. The papers from my Senate years that I donated to the University of Delaware do not contain personnel files. It is the practice of Senators to establish a library of personal papers that document their public record: speeches, policy proposals, positions taken, and the writing of bills.

There is only one place a complaint of this kind could be – the National Archives. The National Archives is where the records are kept at what was then called the Office of Fair Employment Practices. I am requesting that the Secretary of the Senate ask the Archives to identify any record of the complaint she alleges she filed and make available to the press any such document. If there was ever any such complaint, the record will be there.
The rest of the statement is general. He says he's  "accountable." He veers into an attack on Trump:
We have lived long enough with a President who doesn’t think he is accountable to anyone, and takes responsibility for nothing. That’s not me....

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