AOC says Biden assault claim ‘legitimate to talk about’


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., spoke out about the newly-surfaced sexual assault allegation made against former Vice President Joe Biden, saying it’s “legitimate to talk about.”

During a conversation with the women’s organization The Wing on Tuesday night, Ocasio-Cortez was asked about the 1993 claim made by Tara Reade, a former staffer for Biden, and how both President Trump and the presumptive Democratic nominee have a “long history of being creepy to women.”

“What you’re voicing is so legitimate and real. That’s why I find this kind of silencing of all dissent to be a form of gaslighting,” the New York congresswoman responded, according to CBS News. “I think it’s legitimate to talk about these things. And if we want, if we, again, want to have integrity, you can’t say, you know — both believe women, support all of this, until it inconveniences you, until it inconveniences us.”

She added, “I think a lot of us are just in this moment where it’s like, how did we get here? You know, it almost felt like we started this cycle where we had kind of moved on from, you know, from all of this. And now it feels like we’re kind of back in it. And, you know, the most diverse field that we’ve ever seen — that we’re kind of back kind of replaying old movies in a way.”

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Ocasio-Cortez previously vowed to support Biden if he won the Democratic nomination.

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Reade later thanked the progressive lawmaker on social media.

“Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is literally the first member of Congress to address publicly what happened to me when I worked for Joe Biden. Thank you @AOC,” Reade tweeted.

Reade initially stepped forward last year, when multiple women emerged claiming inappropriate touching by Biden. Reade, at the time, claimed Biden put his hands on her shoulders and rubbed his fingers up and down her neck, but the story got no traction aside from an article in a local newspaper.

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In late-March, Reade told a far more graphic account, with different and more serious details, raising the allegation to the level of sexual assault.

Reade’s story first resurfaced in an article in The Intercept. Podcast host Katie Halper then interviewed Reade, who said that in 1993, a more senior member of Biden’s staff asked her to bring the then-senator his gym bag near the Capitol building, which led to the encounter in question.

“He greeted me, he remembered my name, and then we were alone. It was the strangest thing,” Reade told Halper. “There was no like, exchange really. He just had me up against the wall.”

Reade said she tried to share her story last year, but nobody listened to her. This past Thursday, she filed a criminal complaint against Biden with police in Washington, D.C.

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The Biden campaign vehemently denied Reade’s allegation.

“Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims. We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false,” Kate Bedingfield, the deputy campaign manager and communications director for the Biden campaign, said in a statement to Fox News.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report. 

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