'The View' finally discusses Tara Reade allegations, co-hosts raise questions about Biden accuser's story

The women at "The View" finally discussed former Senate staffer Tara Reade's sexual assault allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden Thursday, more than a month after Reade first came forward with that claim.

Fox News reported last week that the ABC show had ignored the story since Reade's allegation was made public on March 25. When the topic was raised Thursday, the show didn't employ its typical discussion format.

Instead, ABC News correspondent Mary Bruce, reported on the issue and fielded questions from "The View" co-hosts, who mostly raised doubts about Reade's allegations.

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"After the incident, she said she complained to the Senate office," said Joy Behar. "What did she say happened at that point?"

"There have been reports of her [Reade's] brother changing his story a few times," said Meghan McCain. "He allegedly was told of inappropriate touching in 1993, and then this spring was told of the sexual allegations. This is all allegedly, but what can you tell us about that?"

Sunny Hostin: "Now, this isn't the first time that Ms. Reade has gone public, but her claims have evolved. How so?"

Hostin again: "ABC did speak to a few people close to Ms. Reade, who corroborated her story. Who did you speak to and what did they tell you?"

Hostin also read the Biden campaign statement denying Reade's allegations.

Behar: "So, this accuser says that she is a 'hardcore Democrat' and that she is not playing politics. But her story is now being used by the Trump campaign. So, let's not forget that Trump has been accused by multiple women -- over 15 -- of sexual assault, which he denies of course. So, how is this going to impact the election?"

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In response to Behar's first question, Bruce noted that neither ABC nor Reade had record of her complaining to the Senate personnel office about feeling uncomfortable while working for the former senator. She also noted that at the time, Reade did not complain about sexual assault.

Responding to Behar's second question, Bruce said Reade has called on Biden to release his records from his 36 years as a senator as they are currently closed to the public.

Fox News on Tuesday asked the University of Delaware for access to the Biden records. The university refused, saying that the papers will not be released until two years after Biden retires.

Bruce did note that one of Reade's friends said she recalled Reade mentioning "inappropriate" touching from Biden.

"And then, recently we've also talked with a former neighbor of Tara Reade's who recalls that she also was told of this alleged assault but several years after the fact," Bruce added.

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The mainstream media's treatment of Reade's allegations have prompted widespread skepticism after the way it covered allegations against then-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Fox News has documented how media outlets and Democratic politicians pounced on a story revealing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's identity.

Almost from the very beginning, Hostin declared that Dr. Ford's allegations were "very credible" and "extremely important" ahead of Kavanaugh's lifetime appointment. Following her testimony, Hostin declared that Ford was "150 percent credible" and that Kavanaugh wasn't nearly credible as his accuser.

"Testimony is evidence! You don't need corroborating evidence. You don't need a rape kit. You don't need witnesses because oftentimes, guess what? There are no witnesses during rape! When you're talking about evidence, testimonial evidence is the very best in the system!" Hostin exclaimed.

In a heated discussion with former co-host Abby Huntsman, Hostin, a former attorney, argued that "you don't need corroborating evidence" to prove a sexual assault in court. The hosts were also quick to defend Ford from President Trump, who they blasted for repeatedly attacking the Kavanaugh accuser on Twitter, at the White House, and on the campaign trail.

"The View" even welcomed disgraced anti-Trump lawyer Michael Avenatti by phone to tout his client Julie Swetnick, whose allegation of being gang-raped by Kavanaugh was widely considered as non-credible following extensive vetting of her claim.

After Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27, Hostin declared her to be "150 percent credible" and that Kavanaugh wasn't nearly as credible as his accuser.

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ABC declined to comment. "The View" isn't alone in the blackout. ABC News, which the daytime talk show is a part of, did not initially cover the controversy on-air and only acknowledged Reade's claim in the republishing of an Associated Press report on its website on April 13, nearly three weeks after Reade came forward.

In addition, the network's chief political anchor George Stephanopoulos failed to ask Biden about the allegation during an interview on ABC's Sunday show "This Week" earlier this month.

"The View" segment came days after a report surfaced in which one of Reade's former neighbors, Lynda LaCasse, claimed that Reade shared details about the alleged assault in the mid-1990s. One of Reade's former colleagues, Lorraine Sanchez, also told Business Insider that she remembered Reade complaining that her former boss harassed her.

Since that report, a long list of prominent Democrats and women's organizations have remained silent about the accusations. When "The View" interviewed Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., on Tuesday, it asked her several questions, but none were about Reade.

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"He has said, and I agree with this, 'You’ve got to get to the bottom of every case and all allegations.' I think The New York Times — I haven’t read all the stories. I read that one," Klobuchar told "The Beat" anchor Ari Melber. "Your viewers should read that. It was very thorough. They interviewed people. And I have done a lot of work on this. I actually led the effort to change the rules in the U.S. Senate so that it is easier to bring these cases forward and so that we have taxpayers not paying for bad conduct."

She continued, "I think this case has been investigated. I know the vice president as a major leader on domestic abuse, I worked with him on that. And I think that, again, the viewers should read the article. It was very thorough.”

HuffPost said that it had requested comment on the Business Insider story and Reade's initial allegations from a long list of potential Biden running mates, including former presidential candidates and Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

The outlet also reached out to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.

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None except former Georgia Rep. Stacey Abrams responded.

“I believe women deserve to be heard, and I believe that has happened here,” Abrams told HuffPost in an article published Tuesday. “The allegations have been heard and looked into, and for too many women, often, that is not the case. The New York Times conducted a thorough investigation, and nothing in the Times review or any other later reports suggests anything other than what I already know about Joe Biden: That he will make women proud as the next President of the United States.”

Fox News' Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Gregg Re contributed to this report.