Former Georgia Rep. Stacey Abrams appears to have rejected the #MeToo mantra of “Believe All Women” in pursuit of being tapped for vice president by presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden.
As Biden’s single most vocal and—arguably—credible accuser of sexual abuse has finally gained the attention of the liberal mainstream media, the last Democrat standing in the race for the White House has been surprisingly silent on the issue.
Abrams, however, declared that the allegation by Tara Reade that Biden shoved her up against a wall and penetrated her with his fingers when she was his Senate staffer in 1993 “was not credible.”
“So you said you have heard her, you’ve heard enough, you don’t believe her. You believe Joe Biden,” CNN’s Don Lemon suggested in a Tuesday interview.
“No,” Abrams responded. “What I’m saying is that the New York Times investigation of her allegations…does not support the accusation against the vice president. I believe the Biden I know.”
“I believe that women deserve to be heard, and I believe that they need to be listened to,” Abrams continued. “But I also believe that those allegations have to be investigated by credible sources. The New York Times did a deep investigation. And they found that the accusation was not credible.”
“I believe Joe Biden. I believe that he is a person who has demonstrated that his love of family, his love of our community, has been made perfectly clear through his work as a congressional leader and as an American leader,” Abrams continued. “I think that he is telling the truth and that this did not happen.”
The key flaw in Abrams’ claim, however, is that the New York Times made no such claim of innocence in its report, titled “Examining Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Allegation Against Joe Biden.”
CNN’s Chris Cillizza criticized Abrams for “twisting” The Times‘ report:
It’s also not accurate. Because The New York Times’ piece that Abrams referenced with Lemon on Tuesday night — and which the Biden campaign talking points lean heavily on — does not, in fact, find that Reade’s accusation is either “not credible” (Abrams’ words) or that “this incident did not happen” (Biden talking points).
And here’s what it concluded:
“No other allegation about sexual assault surfaced in the course of reporting, nor did any former Biden staff members corroborate any details of Ms. Reade’s allegation. The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden.”
That is a far different conclusion than simply listening to Abrams or reading the Biden campaign talking points would lead you to believe. What the Times found was not that Reade’s allegations were false. They simply did not find any former Biden staffer who confirmed the report.
As Cillizza points out, though, Abrams is simply regurgitating prepared talking points distributed by the Biden campaign.
“Biden believes that all women have the right to be heard and to have their claims thoroughly review,” language from the talking points states. “In this case, a thorough review by the New York Times has led to the truth: this incident did not happen.”
Seeing their work being contorted to prop up Biden’s declaration of innocence, the Times stepped in.
Danielle Rhoades Ha, NYT’s vice president of communications, told CNN on Wednesday that the Biden campaign’s talking points “inaccurately suggest a New York Times investigation found that Tara Reade’s allegation ‘did not happen.'”
“Our investigation made no conclusion either way,” Rhoades Ha clarified.
Lemon also asked Abrams if she felt she was applying a “different standard” to Biden than she did to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey-Ford in 2018.
After the courageous and compelling testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford yesterday, it is shameful that Kavanaugh's nomination is being rushed forward.
I believe women, and I believe survivors of violence always deserve to be supported and to have their voices heard. https://t.co/rtT1PQr4Zq
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) September 28, 2018
“Not at all,” Abrams answered. “I believe then, and I believe now, that women deserve to be heard because too often they are not, and Tara Reade deserved to have her story listened to and investigated.”
“What was happening to Christine Blasey Ford was there was no investigation,” she continued. “There was a rush to move the conversation forward so that no investigation was conducted.”
Once more, however, Abrams is either misinformed or misrepresenting the facts. Kavanaugh was the subject of an FBI investigation, and that investigation turned up virtually nothing as Blasey-Ford failed to present any evidence or witnesses to corroborate her claim.
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