Biden denies sexual assault claim

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Joe Biden

Joe Biden denied he sexually assaulted a former Senate staffer and called for any relevant records to be released.

“I want to address allegations by a former staffer I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago,” presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said of allegations he assaulted Tara Reade, in a statement Friday morning. “They aren’t true. This never happened.”

Reade says 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.

She has said she reported incident to three senior staff in Biden’s office who have all denied being informed about it.

She also says she made a more formal harassment complaint to Senate, but neither she nor the relevant Senate office has a copy.

Biden called for National Archives to of any record of the complaint.

“There is only one place a complaint of this kind could be — National Archives,” he said in the statement. “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.”

Friday’s statement came before Biden was expected to appear live on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program to address accusation since Reade first made it public in late March. Pressure had intensified in recent days for Biden to weigh in, especially after a former neighbor of Reade’s told a reporter that she recalled Reade telling her the story a few years after the alleged incident.