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Dissecting the Latest From The Ongoing Tara Reade Sexual Assault Allegations
By Curt Anderson
April 25, 2020 12:19 pm
Category: Politics

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Ryan Grim of The Intercept is out with a story entitled "New evidence supporting credibility of Tara Reade's allegation against Joe Biden emerges". Reade's allegations are getting renewed media coverage.

The supposed evidence is an August 1993 episode of CNN's "Larry King Live". During the program an anonymous phone caller, who may be Reade's late mother then living in San Luis Obispo County, spoke to King:

KING: San Luis Obispo, California, hello.
CALLER: Yes, hello. I'm wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.
KING: In other words, she had a story to tell but, out of respect for the person she worked for, she didn't tell it?
CALLER: That's true

How is that evidence supporting the credibility of allegations of sexual assault? Reade has claimed to various media outlets, including The Intercept, that she told her late mother about both the harassment and, to varying degrees of detail, the assault at the time.

He put his finger on her neck
If it was Tara Reade's mother who called, where does the caller mention or hint at sexual assault? The caller spoke of her daughter's "problems" at work, but she doesn't explain the nature of the problems or who they were with. It seems more likely the problems the caller said her daughter had with Biden's office were what Tara Reade told a reporter at The Union newspaper of Nevada County, California.

According to the The Union:
Reade recalled a handful of times Biden touched her. On one occasion they were before a group of interns when he put his finger on her neck. She doesn’t remember how many times Biden touched her in that manner, she said.

"I was trying to be seen as a professional," Reade added.

Also according to the The Union story, Reade said that she cut ties with Biden's office over an early 1993 staff argument. According to Reade, Biden wanted her to serve drinks because he liked her legs. Reade says she didn't hear this directly from Biden but she learned of it during her argument with staff. Reade refused to serve the drinks, which she believes was a move that affected her career.

"My life was hell," Reade said. "This was about power and control. I couldn't get a job on the Hill." She eventually left Biden's office in August of 1993.

Subsequent to The Union article, Reade publicly increased the seriousness and salaciousness of her allegations claiming that Biden "penetrated" her with his fingers, an accusation the Biden campaign denies.

A vast understatement
Tara Reade now says she told her late mother about the alleged assault. Why would her mother in calling Larry King downplay the supposed assault with a euphemistic and plural term "problems"? I suspect that most mothers if their daughter told them what Tara Reade alleges they would use an unambiguous word like rape, rather than the vague "problems". "Problems" seems a vast understatement for what Reade now accuses Biden of doing. "Problems" would more appropriately describe her sense of being degraded and objectified, as she told The Union reporter, rather than an sexual attack.

The caller used an odd expression saying her daughter "could not get through with her problems at all". To me that sounds like she was trying to resolve an ongoing series of problems not talking about a rape.

Why the respect?
Larry King's caller said that "the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him", meaning Joe Biden. How is it credible that Biden penetrated her with his fingers but she still respects him?

Why not report it to the police?
Why didn't the daughter didn't go the police to report the sexual assault if that in fact was the case. Reade had graduated from college and later earned a law degree, surely she must have known then that unwanted "penetration" was a crime. For that matter, if the mother really was alluding to a sexual assault, why would she need to ask Larry King where her daughter might go besides the media to report her "problems"?

According to an article in The Medium, "Between September of 2016 and May of 2017, Alexander Tara Reade used a Twitter account, under the name Tara McCabe, to spread praise of Joe Biden via tweeting, retweeting and liking various Tweets." For instance, Reade retweeted a tweet by Margaret Cho that appears to commend Joe Biden for working with Lady Gaga to end sexual assault.

Was a complaint really filed?
Reade has said that she filed a complaint with a congressional human resources or personnel office, although no complaint record has been found and Reade doesn't have a copy. Wouldn't it have been logical to follow up on that complaint? The Senator Bob Packwood sex scandal was in full bloom and front page news in August of 1993. The media would have been eager to hear her story.

Even we accept Grim's interpretation...
Of course even if we accept all of Ryan Grim's assumptions with total credulity, none of this confirms that Tara Reade told her mother a truthful story in the first place or that the mother's hearsay call to Larry King was accurate.

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