Joe Biden Says 'Women Should Be Believed' But Tara Reade Allegation 'Never Happened'

Former Vice President Joe Biden told ABC's Good Morning America Tuesday that the Tara Reade sexual assault allegations against him "never happened," adding that "women should be believed."

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee was asked by host George Stephanopoulos: "What do you say to Americans who believe Tara Reade and won't vote for you because of it?"

Biden's answer: "Well, that's their right. Look, here, I think women should be believed. They should have an opportunity to have their case and state it forthrightly what their case is. Then it's the responsibility of responsible journalists like you and everyone else to go out and investigate those."

"At the end of the day, the truth is the truth. That's what should prevail and the truth is this never happened. This never happened. That's the truth," he said.

This was the first time Biden was asked about the Tara Reade allegations since her interview with Megan Kelly May 8. Reade described the allegations to Kelly and called for the Democratic nominee to drop out of the race.

"You and I were there, Joe Biden. Please step forward and be held accountable. You should not be running on character for the president of the United States," Reade said during the interview, adding that she would not accept an apology from the former vice president as it would be "a little late" for an apology.

Reade claimed on a podcast with Katie Halper on March 25 that when she was a staffer for then-Senator Biden in 1993, he sexually assaulted her by pushing her up against a wall, slipping his hand underneath her skirt and penetrating her with his fingers. Reade also spoke out against the former vice president in 2019 along with other women who stated his behavior made them uncomfortable in the past.

Reade told Newsweek on March 27 that her goal in sharing her story was to be able to speak out against "powerful men" without prioritizing their reputations above the experiences of women.

"I was trying to have a deeper conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace and powerful men...I'm not going to get traditional justice, like with [Harvey] Weinstein's case. I'm looking for something more existential—to not have to keep a secret because it's somebody powerful," Reade said at the time.

Biden first denied the allegation May 1 in an interview on MSNBC, saying that the allegations "never happened."

"No, it is not true. I'm saying unequivocally it never, never happened. And it didn't. It never happened," Biden said to Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski.

The vice president also released a statement that day stating that the allegations levied against him by Reade "aren't true."

"I recognize my responsibility to be a voice, an advocate, and a leader for the change in culture that has begun but is nowhere near finished. 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," Biden said in the statement.

Democratic presidential hopeful former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is seen on stage as he and Senator Bernie Sanders take part in the 11th Democratic Party 2020 presidential debate at a CNN Washington Bureau studio in Washington, D.C. on March 15, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) Mandel Ngan/Getty