‘A person of great integrity’: Nancy Pelosi defends Joe Biden over Tara Reade allegation

WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi staunchly defended former vice president Joe Biden as “a person of great integrity” amid sexual assault allegations from a former female staffer that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee denies.

While saying that Biden’s accuser would have “due process,” Pelosi said the decades-old charge did not dampen her full-throated endorsement of Biden’s candidacy.

“The happiest day for me this week was to support Joe Biden for president of the United States,” she told reporters at a Thursday news conference on Capitol Hill after she was asked about the allegation. “He’s a person of great integrity, great concern for the American people.”.

The accusation:Former staffer Tara Reade says Joe Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993. Here’s what we know.

Pelosi went on to say that “there was never any record and nobody ever came forward to say something about it apart from the principal involved.”.

​Tara Reade, a former staffer to Biden when he served in the Senate, has accused the former Delaware lawmaker of sexually assaulting her in a Capitol Hill office building in 1993. Reade worked for Biden’s Senate office at the time.

Biden’s campaign has adamantly denied the allegation, though Biden has not directly addressed the allegation yet.

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The accusation has opened a rift in Biden’s left-wing support at a time when he’s working to win over reluctant voters in his bid to defeat President Donald Trump in November. A number of Bernie Sanders’ backers have said the allegations should prompt the former vice president to drop out of the race.

But Pelosi’s defense means the federal government’s most powerful woman and a champion of the me-too movement remains firmly behind Biden, who has been criticized over the years for his manner of hugging and touching women. Reade’s accusation is the first known allegation of sexual assault against Biden.

“So I want to remove all doubt in anyone’s mind, I have great comfort level with the situation as I see it, with all the respect in the world for any woman who comes forward, but with all the highest regard for Joe Biden,” Pelosi said.

Sharing allegation:Report: Biden accuser spoke to neighbor about alleged assault.

The speaker issued a similar defense in a CNN interview Thursday morning.

“Well, I have great sympathy for any women who bring forth an allegation,” the Speaker said on CNN’s “New Day.” “I’m a big, strong supporter of the ‘me-too’ movement. I think it has been a great — made a great contribution to our country. And I do support Joe Biden. I’m satisfied with how he has responded.”.

When asked if Biden should directly address the allegation, Pelosi said, “It’s a matter that he has to deal with.”.

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