House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president, calling him “a leader who is the personification of hope and courage, values, authenticity, and integrity,” as the presumptive Democrat nominee faces a sexual assault allegation from his former Senate staffer, Tara Reade.
Pelosi, in a prerecorded video shared Monday to social media, praised Biden as a “voice of reason” with experience in helping enact legislation like the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus program.
JUST IN: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorses Joe Biden for President of the United States, calling him “a leader who is the personification of hope and courage, values, authenticity, and integrity.” https://t.co/SXmHLD1FQG pic.twitter.com/A1KOrGyTPt
— ABC News (@ABC) April 27, 2020
“I am proud to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States because he will be an extraordinary president,” Pelosi said. “He knows how to get the job done.”
She added: “When our nation faced the Great Recession, it was Joe Biden who led the implementation – and the accountability – of the Recovery Act, helping create and save millions of jobs. When the Democratic Congress was passing the Affordable Care Act, Joe Biden was a partner for progress in the White House and also championed the Cancer Moonshot.”
Pelosi’s endorsement follows former President Barack Obama, who waited until Biden all but wrapped up the nomination to announce his support for his former vice president.
The House Speaker’s endorsement also comes as new evidence supporting Reade’s assault claim has resurfaced. A 1993 video, dug up by NewsBusters, appears to show Reade’s mother discussing her daughter’s “problems” with a “prominent senator” on CNN’s Larry King Live.
#BREAKING: HERE is the video from August 11,1993’s ‘Larry King Live’ described by @TheIntercept (and Tara Reade) as allegedly featuring her mother calling in and alluding to Reade’s sexual assault claims against @JoeBiden (blog here by @ScottJW) https://t.co/fCgEqBnX7n pic.twitter.com/V5FGHskv56
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 24, 2020
“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,” a woman whom Reade identifies as her mother is heard saying.
The call was first reported by The Intercept. The Biden campaign denies Reade’s allegations.
In an interview with the AP, she detailed a 1993 encounter that she says occurred when she was asked by a supervisor to bring Biden his gym bag, as he was on his way down to the Senate gymnasium. She says Biden pushed her against a wall in the basement of a Capitol Hill office building, groped her, and penetrated her with his fingers.
“He was whispering to me and trying to kiss me at the same time, and he was saying, ‘Do you want to go somewhere else?’” she said. “I remember wanting to say stop, but I don’t know if I said it out loud or if I just thought it. I was kind of frozen up.”
Reade said that she pulled away and Biden looked “shocked and surprised,” and replied, “Come on, man, I heard you liked me.”
Reade, who was a staff assistant in Biden’s office at the time, said she wasn’t aware of any direct witnesses to the encounter. She told the AP she did raise accusations of sexual harassment, but not assault, against Biden in multiple meetings with her supervisors, including Marianne Baker, Biden’s executive assistant; Dennis Toner, Biden’s deputy chief of staff; and Ted Kaufman, the senator’s chief of staff.
In a statement provided by the campaign, Baker said that in the nearly two decades she worked for Biden, “I never once witnessed, or heard of, or received, any reports of inappropriate conduct, period — not from Ms. Reade, not from anyone.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.