White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in her first press briefing Friday the White House is “glad” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden chose to go “on the record” denying sexual assault allegations leveled against him by Tara Reade.
“We are pleased the former vice president has decided to go on the record. It took him, what, less than 16 hours to follow the advice of the president and go on record and publicly address those claims,” McEnany said.
On Thursday the president said allegations against the presumptive Democratic nominee “could be false” but called on him to address the claims. “I don’t know anything about it,” Trump said. “I think he should respond. It could be false accusations.”
“I know all about false accusations,” Trump added. “I think he should answer them."
The president then brought up the controversy that plagued Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States.
In an interview Friday on the "Dan Bongino Show," Trump said Biden’s accuser, Reade, is “far more convincing” than Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault during his Senate confirmation and said Biden “could have others come out.” (Kavanaugh has denied the claims).
McEnany declined to speak to the president’s thought process when asked why he found Reade more convincing than Kavanaugh, but called the treatment of Kavanaugh accusations a “grave miscarriage of justice.”
“There's no need for me to bring up some of the salacious, awful and verifiably false allegations that were made,” McEnany continued. “It’s an embarrassment for the Democratic party to have dragged the name of a very respectable man through the mud like that.”
Also in her first briefing Friday McEnany promised White House press: "I will never lie to you." She added that she plans to hold briefings regularly, after her predecessor Stephanie Grisham did not hold a single briefing while in the position.
Biden is accused of cornering Reade, his former staffer, and assaulting her in a Senate building in 1993. Reade leveled the allegations over a month ago and Biden finally addressed them Friday morning after two major developments arose this week.
“No, it is not true,” Biden said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened and it didn’t. It never happened.”
Regarding assault allegations, Biden said women should be assumed to be telling the truth, “then you have to look at the circumstances and the facts. And the facts, in this case, do not exist.”
He authorized a request for any relevant records in the National Archives while declining to OK a search for records at the University of Delaware, saying that those files would not pertain to personnel issues.
Last Friday, a clip from "Larry King Live" in 1993 resurfaced featuring a woman who purportedly was Reade’s mother, who has since died, calling in to discuss “problems” her daughter faced with a “prominent senator.”
Then on Monday, two more people backed up Reade’s story -- Lynda LaCasse, a former next-door neighbor of Reade's and a self-described supporter of Biden, and Lorraine Sanchez, a former colleague of Reade’s.
They joined Reade’s brother and another friend, who recalled Reade sharing the incident in interviews with The Intercept.