A former adviser to Hillary Clinton said that Joe Biden must drop out of the presidential race after a report shared new details about the sexual assault allegation against him.
Peter Daou, a longtime Democratic strategist who has worked for Clinton and John Kerry, responded to a new report from The Intercept about the allegation from former staffer Tara Reade that Biden sexually assaulted her in the U.S. Senate building. Reade claimed that her mother, who has since passed away, called Larry King to discuss the allegation back in 1993, and the report uncovered the transcript of the episode.
Though Reade told the outlet that her mother made an anonymous call "saying my daughter was sexually harassed and retaliated against and fired," the call itself did not mention specifics.
"Yes, hello," said the unnamed caller, whom Reade identified as her mother. "I'm wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him."
While some critics have said the call does not corroborate the allegation that Biden sexually assaulted her, Daou said the new development was disqualifying for Biden. In a thread posted to Twitter, the Democratic strategist said that defeating Trump is the only option for the 2020 presidential election, but that Biden, the presumptive nominee, must be removed from the ticket.
"Credible rape accusations are disqualifying or we have NO moral standards," Daou wrote.He went on to say that Biden could be replaced by any of the other candidates who competed for the Democratic nomination, or suggested that the Democratic primary start over again. He pushed back against those who accused him of helping Trump, saying it is paramount that Democrats not compromise their moral standards.
Despite the assertion from Daou, some reports have highlighted inconsistencies in the allegation against Biden. Washington Post deputy opinion page editor Ruth Marcus outlined what she believed to be a number of red flags, including difficulties in corroborating the allegation and seemingly contradictory statements from Reade praising Biden in the past and describing unwanted touching that was not of a sexual nature.
Biden's campaign has denied the allegations from Reade, calling on reporters to thoroughly investigate her claim.