Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has denied that he sexually assaulted a former U.S. Senate aide in 1993.
In his first public remarks on the subject after he faced intense pressure to address the accusation.
A California woman named Tara Reade, who worked as a staff assistant in Biden’s Senate office from December 1992 to August 1993, has accused Biden in media interviews of pinning her against a wall in 1993, reaching under her skirt and pushing his fingers inside her.
Biden, 77, who will be the Democratic nominee to face Republican President Donald Trump, 73, in the Nov. 3 U.S. election, has faced growing pressure from within and outside his party to directly address the accusation.
In a statement before the interview, Biden called on the U.S. Senate to ask the National Archives to release any personnel records that could indicate whether the aide filed a complaint against Biden at the time.
He said that personal papers from his Senate years, which were donated to the University of Delaware and have yet to be made available to the public, do not contain any personnel files.
Biden said he was not aware of any complaint against him by the aide and he had not asked anyone to sign a non-disclosure agreement. He said he would not question Reade’s motive and did not know why she had made the complaint.
In recent years, more than a dozen women have accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances against them. In all instances, they claimed the purported misconduct occurred years before he entered politics. Trump has denied the accusations, accusing rival Democrats and the media of a smear campaign.