AOC says Tara Reade's claims against Biden are not 'clear-cut'

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., argued during an interview Thursday that Tara Reade's sex-assault allegations against Joe Biden are "not clear-cut" but acknowledged that she believes something "happened."

"There have been investigative journalists that have corroborated certain aspects of her account -- that is undeniable -- [and] have raised questions about other aspects of her account," Ocasio-Cortez told NPR. "It certainly seems as though something has happened. I'm not sure... Frankly, this is a messy moment, and I think we need to acknowledge that -- that it is not clear-cut."

Last week, Biden finally broke his silence about 1993 allegations made by Reade, telling MSNBC the alleged sexual harassment and assault "never happened."

Ocasio-Cortez was asked Thursday how Reade's allegations affect the lawmaker's "thinking" regarding whether or not to support Biden -- the presumptive Democratic nominee -- in the general election.

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"I think that there is an impact here for survivors and I think it's very important to speak about what this moment means for survivors across the country," Ocasio-Cortez said.

She added: "I think a lot are watching how our leadership and our culture and our media respond to this, and I don't think the response overall has been sufficient. It's very difficult because this is in a hyper-politicized zone, right? Instead of focusing on her account, instead of focusing on her story as a survivor, people are fast-forwarding to the political implications -- 'Do you want Trump to win, will you be voting for Joe Biden?' -- and that denies justice in this situation."

When asked what she considers "due process" regarding the allegations, the congresswoman pointed to "the aims that the survivor is asking for."

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"While a lot of folks, again, are trying to jump to the political implications, she has never explicitly said don't support Joe Biden," Ocasio-Cortez told NPR. "She hasn't explicitly said anything in terms of a political remedy that she wants. If anything, it simply sounds like she wants to be heard."

Ocasio-Cortez was also pressed on how her vow to vote for Biden is different from her lack of endorsing him, and she explained that she and the former vice president have not "come to a place where we developed a vision together" beyond the 2020 election, saying she wants to reflect the views of "young people" and Latinos.

Last month, Ocasio-Cortez addressed the controversy during a conversation with the women's organization The Wing and was asked about the then-newly surfaced claims.

"What you're voicing is so legitimate and real. That's why I find this kind of silencing of all dissent to be a form of gaslighting," she said at the time. "I think it's legitimate to talk about these things. And if we want, if we, again, want to have integrity, you can't say, you know -- both believe women, support all of this, until it inconveniences you, until it inconveniences us."

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She added: "I think a lot of us are just in this moment where it's like, how did we get here? You know, it almost felt like we started this cycle where we had kind of moved on from, you know, from all of this. And now it feels like we're kind of back in it. And, you know, the most diverse field that we've ever seen -- that we're kind of back kind of replaying old movies in a way."