Biden dodges question on whether he specifically remembers Tara Reade

Former Vice President Joe Biden finally broke his silence on Friday on the explosive 1993 sexual assault allegation from former Senate staffer Tara Reade, but while he categorically denied her claim, he did dodge a question about whether he remembers her.

After Biden was asked directly if he assaulted Reade during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," he was then pressed by co-host Mika Brzezinski if he recalled her being on his staff and any complaints she may have filed.

"Do you remember her? Do you remember any, any types of complaints that she might have made?" Brzezinski asked.

"I don't remember any type of complaint she may have made. It was 27 years ago and I don't remember- nor does anyone else that I'm aware of. And the fact is, I don't remember. I don't remember any complaint ever having been made," Biden responded.

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While Biden did answer part of the MSNBC host's line of questioning, he didn't address the other.

Members of his Senate office staff, specifically his chief of staff Ted Kaufman and deputy chief of staff Dennis Toner, went even beyond Biden, telling The New York Times they don't remember her, nor any of the conversations Reade said she had regarding the senator's behavior.

“I did not know her. She did not come to me. If she had, I would have remembered her," Kaufman recently told The Times.

Toner similarly told the paper: “I don’t remember her. I don’t remember this conversation. And I would remember this conversation.”

Reade, on the other hand, told Fox News she has specific recollections of the interactions she had with Biden during her tenure at his office leading up to the alleged assault.

"When he'd see me, he'd usually put his hands on me. And that's just something he did. And I didn't like it. It made me uncomfortable," Reade told Fox News in a wide-ranging interview last week.

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Reade remembered numerous instances, particularly in major meetings, where Biden would "put his hands on my shoulders usually from behind, and put his fingers underneath my hair, on my neck."

While she had not yet filed a formal complaint, she did recall having conversations with Kaufman and Marianne Baker, Biden's executive assistant about his alleged behavior, saying they "took notes."

Baker also told the Times she did not recall such conversations with Reade.

However, Reade said tensions escalated within the office after Biden requested she serve drinks at a function he was hosting because she was told that the senator "likes your legs and thinks you're pretty."

"You don't have to do this, Tara. You don't have to serve drinks for these men because the senator likes your legs and thinks you're pretty. That's not part of your job," Reade said a staffer told her.

Reade says she refused, which she suspected was a turning point for her in the senator's office. Baker, who had urged Reade to serve drinks at the party, began criticizing the way Reade looked, telling her to "dress differently, be less noticeable, be less provocative."

It wasn't until sometime in the spring when she says the alleged assault took place.

During her March interview with podcast host Katie Halper, Reade said a more senior member of Biden's staff asked her to bring the then-senator his gym bag near the U.S. 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 that she was wearing “a business skirt,” but “wasn’t wearing stockings — it was a hot day.”

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She continued: “His hands were on me and underneath my clothes, and he went down my skirt and then up inside it and he penetrated me with his fingers and he was kissing me at the same time and he was saying some things to me.”

Reade claimed Biden first asked if she wanted “to go somewhere else.”

“I pulled away, he got finished doing what he was doing,” Reade said. “He said: ‘Come on, man. I heard you liked me.’”

Following the alleged assault, Reade remembered feeling that Biden was mad at her because he would not acknowledge her presence or even look at her. She added, though, that there was an additional meeting where he again placed his hand on her shoulder and touched the back of her neck.

Reade told Fox News she attempted to tell Baker about the incident, but only alluded to how "uncomfortable" she was about certain behaviors of Biden's.

"I was trying to broach the whole thing to Marianne in the hallway and she put her hand up and she goes, 'I can't take this to Ted Kaufman. He's gonna think we're on our periods,'" Reade said.

It was then she says she filed a formal complaint to the Senate personnel office, although she said she did not reference the alleged assault in the complaint.

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After filing the complaint, Reade says she was "stripped of my duties" and put in a windowless room that was "not a workspace" where they had to set up a desk, a phone, and a computer for her. The interns she oversaw confirmed to The New York Times that Reade was abruptly removed as their supervisor. She says she worked under Kaufman and Toner, who became her direct supervisor.

Eventually, she says Biden's office cut her loose.

"I was told I was no longer, I was not a good fit. And that I had a month to find a job," Reade told Fox News about a conversation she had with Kaufman and Toner. "And I said, 'Well, you stripped all of my duties. So what do I put?' you know. And Dennis Toner said, 'Put special projects.'"