Trump says he hopes assault claim against Biden is “false”

President Trump said Friday that he hopes the sexual assault allegation against his likely Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, is “false.” The president also alluded to the 20-plus allegations of sexual misconduct and assault that have been leveled against him over the years.

Regarding the claim against Biden, “I don’t know if it’s false or not,” Mr. Trump said on “Fox & Friends.” “Joe is going to have to be able to prove whatever he has to prove, or she has to prove it, but that’s a battle he has to fight.” 

“I’ve had many false accusations made, I can tell you that,” he added. “Many. And maybe it is a false accusation. Frankly, I hope it is for his sake.” 

Mr. Trump’s comments come a day after Tara Reade, a former Senate aide to Biden who says he sexually assaulted her in 1993, told Megyn Kelly in an interview that she thinks Biden should drop out of the presidential race. Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee. 

Also on Thursday, The Tribune newspaper in San Luis Obispo, California reported on a court document from the time of Reade’s 1996 divorce proceedings that shows she told her ex-husband she had been sexually harassed when she worked in Biden’s office. It did not accuse Biden personally or include an allegation of sexual assault. 

Biden has denied Reade’s allegations. He added another denial following her interview on Thursday, telling a Florida TV station, “Nothing ever happened with Tara Reade.”

Biden requested that the secretary of the Senate search for a record of a complaint Reade says she filed about him, but the request was denied under the terms of Senate Fair Employment Practices. Reade told CBS News that the complaint described sexual harassment, but not an assault. 

Mr. Trump has faced accusations of sexual assault, harassment or misconduct from more than 20 women. He has denied all of the allegations and said some of the accusers are “liars.”

The president has so far seemed to side with Biden after Reade’s accusation, saying at one point, “I guess in a way, you could say I’m sticking up for him.”

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