Top women’s groups are keeping quiet about a sexual assault allegation against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden -- a stark contrast to how such groups treated allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
Requests for comment from Fox News to the National Organization for Women, the Women’s March, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood for America and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) were not returned. Such groups have been active in the #MeToo movement.
Daily Beast similarly received no statement from 10 national women’s organizations about the allegations by former staffer Tara Reade that have gained steam in the last week.
The Women's March addressed the allegations in a tweet, saying: "Women are looking for leadership. If @joebiden wants to be a candidate that women can support, he needs to address the allegations about his behavior and clarify his policy on sexual assault, harassment, and consent."
Reade, a former Biden staffer, has accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993 -- an allegation the former vice president’s campaign has firmly denied.
But her allegations have received some support in the form of a resurfaced “Larry King Live” interview that appears to show Reade’s mother referring to the accusation, albeit in vague terms. Additionally, two more people who knew Reade have come forward to say she told them about the allegation at the time.
Reade's story first resurfaced in an article in The Intercept on March 24. Podcast host Katie Halper then interviewed Reade, who said that in 1993, 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."
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 said she tried to share her story last year, but nobody listened to her. Earlier this month, she filed a criminal complaint against Biden with police in Washington, D.C.
Fox News reached out to the Biden campaign on Friday for comment. The campaign referred Fox News to a statement earlier this month from Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield that said: “What is clear about this claim: it is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”
But the approach by many women’s groups is starkly different from the approach to the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh. The AAUW called allegations against Kavanaugh “credible” and demanded a “comprehensive” FBI inquiry.
Meanwhile, groups like Emily’s List and Women’s March were part of a wave of such groups who furiously opposed the confirmation, organizing mass protests outside the Senate and Supreme Court during the hearings and putting intense pressure on senators to kill the Kavanaugh nomination.
“Senators Who Claim to be Allies to Women Cannot Vote to Confirm Brett Kavanaugh in Light of New Sexual Assault Allegations”, one NARAL Pro-Choice America release said.
“We are standing in solidarity with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and all survivors of sexual assault. We believe women. We #BelieveSurvivors,” a tweet by Emily’s List in September 2018 read.
The contrast is not only evident among women’s groups. Nine senators who have gotten buzz as potential VP picks, and who ripped into Kavanaugh in 2018, are now downplaying or ignoring entirely the claims against Biden.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.