Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota said over the weekend that she believed Tara Reade’s accusation of sexual assault against former Vice President Joe Biden, but said she plans to vote for the presumptive presidential nominee in November anyway.
Reade accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993 when Biden was in the Senate and Reade was a staffer. Biden has denied the accusation, and Democrats like Omar have been attempting to balance their support for Biden with the desire to believe women who come forward with accusations of sexual assault.
“I do believe Reade. Justice can be delayed, but should never be denied,” Omar said.
Reade has said she wishes Biden would drop out of the presidential race because of the alleged assault, but doesn’t expect him to do so.
Biden said earlier this month “I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade.”
“Believing survivors is consistent with my values,” Omar wrote Monday in a tweet elaborating on the comment. “Yes, I endorsed against Biden and I didn’t pick him as our nominee. With that said, in this interview I did on May 6th, we talked about that and quotes aren’t always in context. I will vote for him and help him defeat Trump.”
Omar endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic presidential primary.
In 2018, before Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate, Omar called for an impeachment inquiry into Kavanaugh over decades-old sexual assault allegations by Christine Blasey Ford and others. She called it a “constitutional duty.”
In Biden’s case, however, many Democrats are prioritizing beating President Donald Trump over holding Biden as accountable as they did Kavanaugh for the allegation against him.
In March, she referred to Kavanaugh as an “accused sexual predator” and said he should not have any say on the issue of abortion because he had been accused of sexual assault.