The New York Times clarifies it didn't clear Biden of sexual assault allegation despite what campaign suggests

Joe Biden
(Image credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

Talking points from former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign suggest The New York Times found that Tara Reade's sexual assault allegation against him is false, but the Times would like to clarify it did not reach this conclusion.

BuzzFeed News on Tuesday reported that Biden's campaign had sent out talking points regarding Reade's allegation that Biden assaulted her in 1993 when she worked for him as an aide. The talking points assert "a thorough review by the New York Times has led to the truth: this incident did not happen."

Asked about the allegation against Biden on Tuesday, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams echoed these talking points, telling CNN, "The New York Times did a deep investigation, and they found that the accusation was not credible."

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But a spokesperson for the Times on Wednesday said this characterization of their reporting is not accurate.

"BuzzFeed reported on the existence of talking points being circulated by the Biden campaign that inaccurately suggest a New York Times investigation found that Tara Reade's allegation 'did not happen,'" the Times spokesperson said. "Our investigation made no conclusion either way."

Rather, the Times said no former staff members of Biden's corroborated Reade's allegation during their reporting and that "the Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden," but it did not determine Reade's allegation didn't happen. The Times spokesperson noted Wednesday that it "spoke to a friend who said Reade told her the details of the allegation at the time" and "another friend and Reade's brother say she told them of a traumatic sexual incident involving Biden."

Earlier this week, a former neighbor of Reade's told Insider she told her about the alleged assault in the 1990s. The Biden campaign has denied the allegation, but Biden hasn't commented on it personally.

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