The Tara Reade Case: Eight things the media won’t tell you

The social media world has spent the last month obsessed with the Tara Reade sexual assault allegation.

The far right, led by the Trump campaign and Fox News, has heavily promoted the story. Anti-Biden outlets on the left, such as The Intercept, Chapo Trap House and The Young Turks, have been even more aggressive in their advocacy. Both groups have a vested interest in promoting the allegation as true and bullying doubters into submission. Their opinions have dominated social media.

The mainstream media, for its part, has been focused on “reaction pieces” rather than direct coverage. What are the consequences of the story? What does it mean for #MeToo? What does it mean for the Democratic Party? How should Biden respond? There is little interest in verifying the story itself. For the most part, the media has reported Reade’s account uncritically. CNN and POLITICO, like the political extremists on social media, are motivated to sensationalize the story and present it as true.

Missing from all this coverage is an answer to the most important question: Is the story true? Did Joe Biden sexually assault a staffer in 1993? The public deserves to make an informed decision based on all the available evidence. Analyzing Reade’s statements, as well as her past and present behavior, reveals a pattern of lies and deception.

1: Tara Reade’s ever-changing story

Tara Reade first gained prominence in April 2019, when she was one of several women to accuse Joe Biden of inappropriate touching. Specifically, Reade said that Biden made her uncomfortable by rubbing her shoulders and neck. Her story was first published in The Union on April 3. She followed it up with a Medium post on April 6, and an opinion piece, also in The Union, on April 19. In these pieces, she says that in addition to the shoulder touching, she was told by a superior that she should serve drinks at an event because Biden “liked her legs.” She asserts that when she refused, Biden’s staff made life hard for her, and she eventually resigned and left DC.

This is a very different story from her sexual assault allegation, made in late March 2020. She explains the difference by saying she felt “shut down” in the April 3, 2019 interview.

I was going to tell the whole thing… the whole history with Biden… But the way I was being questioned, it made me so uncomfortable that I didn’t trust it. And no offense to the reporters out there, it’s just maybe that’s something that can be learned, how to talk to somebody who got… Because I just really got shut down.

This reasoning does not line up with Reade’s behavior. She published two separate pieces after the April 3 interview where she repeated her original story. Afterwards, she relentlessly promoted the story, sharing it hundreds of times on Twitter in replies to celebrities and politicians. She was proud to be “speaking out” with her shoulder-touching story. Is this the behavior of a woman who felt “shut down”?

Reade’s telling of the story evolved over time to become more and more severe. In April, Reade said “she didn’t consider the acts toward her sexualization. She instead compared her experience to being a lamp.” Despite sharing her story hundreds of times in 2019, she never once described her experience with Biden as “sexual harassment.” December 2019 was her first time adopting that characterization. She then wrote 37 tweets about experiencing “sexual harassment” from Biden.

On January 9, 2020, she wrote an article re-telling the drinks-serving episode, where she claimed to have been “destroyed” by Biden. On March 5, she called Biden a “misogynistic pred.” On the same day she claimed to have filed a “sexual harassment & worse complaint.” She made similar ominous tweets throughout the month of March, leading up to her interview on March 24.

On that same day, March 24 2020, Reade went back to her April 6, 2019 Medium post and edited it to remove details that contradicted her current telling. For instance, in the original piece she says she resigned, but after editing, she now claims to have been fired.

Throughout all this, Reade claimed that she was being “silenced.” In fact, between the Union interview in April 2019 and her Halper interview in March 2020, she wrote 59 separate tweets alleging that the Biden campaign was silencing her. Although she spent much of 2019 complaining about her story being silenced, in January 2020 she wrote a Medium post where she merely repeated her earlier complaints of shoulder-touching and drink-serving. What was stopping her from telling her story?

2: A story full of contradictions

Many details of Reade’s story are proven fabrications, and she has changed others several times.

For example, “I was fired as retaliation for reporting Biden” is Reade’s fourth(!) story about why she left DC. In 2009, she claimed to have left with her boyfriend, Tate, to work the CA-Gov race. Fast-forward to 2018, and she claimed to have left DC to protest American imperialism and xenophobia. Move forward another four months, and she claimed to have voluntarily resigned after bullying from her co-workers. She wrote that Biden didn’t even know why she left:

I wish I could say there was a happy ending, that Senator Biden apologized or that he helped make amends, he did not. I do not even know if he realized why I left.

It isn’t until March 10, 2020 that she lands on her current story, which is that Biden personally fired her. The four different stories she has told are totally irreconcilable and it’s difficult to explain why she would lie, in 2009, about leaving DC for a different job.

This is just one of countless examples of contradictions or outright lies. Reade claimed to have been ignored by the Washington Post, when in reality they interviewed her several times. Reade claimed her articles praising Russia were excerpts from “a novel set in Russia” when they are clearly her personal political views written from her perspective. Reade later deleted these articles, then lied about doing so. Reade initially claimed to have only complained to two supervisors, before adding a third in the current telling. Reade even lied to The Intercept about being an Elizabeth Warren supporter, when her Twitter history makes clear she supported Marianne Williamson. The list just goes on and on.

3: Digging into the specifics

Reade offers few specifics in her story. According to the New York Times, “Ms. Reade said that she could not remember the exact time, date or location of the assault.” This makes her story impossible to fully disprove. A date/time, for instance, could be aligned with Biden’s schedule to see where he actually was. A location would allow us to check for archival CCTV footage of the alleged assault.

What few specifics she has given, however, are full of holes.

Reade has said many times that she filed a formal complaint against Biden with Senate Personnel, which she and Biden both agree would be in the National Archives. The complaint appears to not exist, and nobody in the Senate staff has any recollection of its being made.

It’s worth noting that Reade’s tenure overlapped with the Senate Ethics Committee investigation into Sen. Bob Packwood for sexually assaulting staffers. An allegation against Biden of the same crime would have been national news.

In addition to filing a formal complaint, Reade says she complained to three of her supervisors: Marianne Baker, Dennis Toner, and Ted Kaufman. All three strongly deny that any such event occurred. Reade also claims that she was shunned in the office after filing her report, implying that her story was common knowledge. AP spoke to 21 Biden staffers who worked at the same time as Reade; not a single one of them corroborated her story.

These are people who worked for Biden 27 years ago and no longer have any association with him. While it’s possible to imagine a handful of loyal aides conspiring to cover up the story, it strains credulity to imagine all 24 interviewees doing so in unison, in addition to all the folks in the Senate personnel office covering up her complaint. Yet for Tara Reade’s story to be true, this is what we are asked to believe.

Reade told NBC that she had shared the story with five friends, but four of the five deny this. NBC contacted those people. Three of them denied her ever sharing any story with them, and the fourth only remembered her mentioning Biden’s shoulder-touching. The fifth agreed with her account, but refused to do so on the record.

4: Fabricated evidence

In lieu of any actual evidence, Tara Reade has had to fabricate some of her own. It has worked like a charm, as the press has reported her fabricated evidence as “corroboration” of the story, leaving casual readers with the impression that the story has been confirmed.

As an example, Tara Reade claimed that her mother called into the Larry King show in 1993 to talked about her experience with Biden. It turns out that this did happen, and a transcript of the August 11, 1993 episode reads as follows:

Yes, hello. 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.

This call isn’t particularly damning to Biden. If Reade had just told her mother she had been sexually assaulted, her mother wouldn’t be likely to have “respect for Biden.” Saying “the only thing she could have done was go to the press” also contradicts Tara’s claim that her mother told her to go to the police. The “problems” described in the call seem only to refer to whatever workplace politics led to Tara’s departure. That would fit the context of the episode, which was about toxic work environments in DC.

Tara Reade knows the call isn’t particularly helpful to her, which is why she made up her own version:

I remember it being an anonymous call and her saying my daughter was sexually harassed and retaliated against and fired, where can she go for help? I was mortified.

Reade’s description of the call is a complete fabrication. Not a single word of what she claims her mother said is true. The only thing these two stories have in common is the existence of the phone call. Fortunately for Reade, the trick worked. Media outlets chose to report on what Reade claimed was in the call, and omit its actual contents.

On April 27, Lynda LaCasse, a friend of Tara Reade, said that Reade had told her about the sexual assault in 1996. Earlier, Reade had given NBC a list of 5 friends whom Reade said knew about her story, yet LaCasse was not on that list. It is unlikely Reade could have forgotten, because LaCasse claims Reade talked to her after the April 2019 shoulder-touching story to remind her about it.

Why would LaCasse suddenly appear now and not in Reade’s initial list? Perhaps it is because Reade got in touch with her more recently, to again “remind” her of a story she had forgotten:

LaCasse said the allegations came on her radar again only recently, when Reade contacted her and remarked that “this Joe Biden thing is coming up again.” She said that she spoke with Reade about coming forward, “but she didn’t really ask me to come forward.” LaCasse also said that she was planning to support Biden in the general election.

In court, Reade’s frequent contact with LaCasse be considered witness tampering, and LaCasse would be immediately rejected. A few days later, LaCasse said that after seeing Biden deny the allegation, she found him “very believable” and began to question her own recollection of Tara’s story.

This isn’t the only witness tampering incident in this case. The only other person to confirm Reade’s story on the record is her brother, Collin Moulton. But Moulton originally, when interviewed by The Washington Post, only told the shoulder-touching story. He had to text WaPo back a few days later to confirm that he, too, suddenly “remembered” the assault aspect of the story. He did the same with ABC. It appears that in those few days, he was advised by Nathan Robinson, a journalist who has been acting as a PR agent for Reade. In a now-deleted series of tweets, Robinson bragged about helping Moulton “clarify” his story.

5: Devoid of credibility

Tara Reade’s allegation suffers from a complete lack of evidence or details to investigate. It contradicts everything we know about Joe Biden’s character and behavior. We are asked to simply trust Tara Reade and believe her story on faith, despite a long history of lies and deception.

Take, as an illustrative example, the scam Reade pulled on Pregnant Mare Rescue, a horse-care charity, in 2014. On two separate occasions, Reade had veterinary work totaling $1,400 done on her personal horse. To avoid paying, she told the vet to bill the charity. According to the charity’s owner, Lynn Hummer, Reade also stole from the charity auction, wanted to hide her car on the ranch to avoid debt collectors, and asked Hummer to open a GoFundMe to help pay her bills.

When Hummer told this story on Twitter, Reade labeled her a scammer and an animal abuser, and threatened her with a lawsuit. This is strange, since Reade was still promoting Hummer’s charity as recently as 2017. This incident is just one of many in Reade’s long history of scams and lawsuits. Perhaps Hummer is lying. But why should we distrust Hummer, who has evidence backing up her story, yet trust Reade, who has no evidence and a history of lying?

Tara Reade is a compulsive liar and has lied repeatedly over the years. She lied about her late father being a “rich defense contractor”; in reality, he was a sports journalist. She lied in 2019 about driving cross-country to reach DC; in 2009, she vividly described flying into the city. She lied in an old bio about qualifying for the Junior Olympics in ski racing. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for these lies. They are simply bizarre fabrications with no purpose.

6: Tara Reade’s evolving views of Joe Biden

Tara Reade has called Biden a “misogynistic predator.” She claims he “destroyed her career” and “shattered her life.” But her negative opinion of Biden is a very recent development. Before 2019, Tara Reade was Biden’s biggest fan.

Up to May 2017, Reade tweeted under the account @taramccabe94. Although she was only on Twitter for a few months, she had a lot to say about Biden. She retweeted a tweet praising Biden’s work to end sexual assault. She also liked tweets praising Biden’s work on cancer and sexual assault. She liked Barack Obama’s tweet praising Biden as his “best VP and friend.” She liked a White House tweet about Biden receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And so on.

And it wasn’t just Tara who loved the man she now accuses of “shattering her life.” Tara claims she told her mother about the sexual assault, but her mother claimed to have “respect” for Biden in the Larry King phone call, and liked Biden on Facebook.

Contrast this with her recent hatred for Biden. Reade spent all of 2019 calling Biden “Blue Trump” and rooting for him to fail. In September, for example, she replied to a Trump tweet asking him to nail the Biden family for Burisma. The full 180 from 2017 to 2019 is incredibly stark.

7: Tara Reade’s Political Motive

The story of Tara’s full 180 on Biden begins with another flip-flop. In 2017, Tara Reade was very upset about Trump’s Russian collusion. She liked or retweeted many Tweets opposing Putin and Russia.

Fast-forward to 2018, and her tone completely changes. In late 2018, Reade wrote a series of articles praising Putin as a brilliant, powerful, sexy leader, and echoing Russian political and foreign policy positions. For example, in her article Why a Liberal Democrat supports Vladimir Putin she writes:

President Putin has a higher approval rating in America then the American President, particularly with women. President Putin has an alluring combination of strength with gentleness. His sensuous image projects his love for life, the embodiment of grace while facing adversity. It is evident that he loves his country, his people and his job.

What caused such a seismic shift in just one year?

Reade’s last tweet from the @taramccabe94 account was on May 16, 2017. The very next day, Robert Mueller opened his investigation into Russian political interference in the 2016 election. In response, many left-wing publications such as The Intercept, and podcast hosts like Katie Halper, adopted a pro-Russian position. The narrative was that RussiaGate was a hoax perpetrated by the Democrats to excuse Clinton’s defeat.

This “RussiaGate hoax” theory, and the associated lionization of Putin and Russia, became very popular on Twitter with the far-left, and Tara Reade followed the trend. She mirrors the popular talking points in her essays. In March 2019, she even wrote an essay celebrating the ending of the Mueller investigation.

The far-left figures who pushed this theory were unanimous in their opposition to establishment Democratic candidates, especially Joe Biden. They claimed that billionaires and the DNC “establishment” were rigging the election to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders and award it to Biden. Tara’s tweets in February and March of 2020, where she frequently tags or replies to these far-left figures, show her becoming more and more deeply invested in Sanders’ success — and more and more convinced that there was a conspiracy afoot to rob him of the nomination.

Tara Reade’s frustration peaked in early March after Sanders was defeated in the South Carolina and Super Tuesday primaries. It is no coincidence that this is when she began hinting at her sexual assault allegation. She made it very explicit on Twitter that she was hoping her allegation would sink Biden and boost Sanders. She tweeted at her favorite left-wing figures, such as Ryan Grim, John Cusack, Nina Turner, and Sanders himself. She frequently used the phrase “Tick tock” to tease her upcoming allegation as some sort of political bombshell.

When Reade came forward, she didn’t do interviews with CNN or the New York Times. She gave her story to two of her favorite pro-Sanders media figures: Ryan Grim of The Intercept and pro-Russia podcaster Katie Halper. Immediately after the story broke, she promoted it with pro-Bernie hashtags.

Tara Reade’s goal was not justice. Her goal was to scuttle Joe Biden’s campaign to help Bernie Sanders.

8: Tara Reade’s personal motive

Although she wanted to hurt Biden politically with her March 24, 2020 allegation, Tara Reade’s hatred for Biden is rooted in her April 3, 2019 interview with The Union.

After the interview, journalists researched her background and discovered her article Bring on the Light, where she heaps praise upon Putin and condemns America. This is also the post where she claims to have left DC to protest American imperialism. When the article (which Tara deleted) was revealed to the public, she was mocked for it on Twitter, and some called her a “Russian asset.”

Tara became extremely upset, and blamed the Biden campaign for her troubles. Between April 2019 and March 2020 she authored more than 75 tweets accusing Joe Biden of labeling her a “Russian agent.” She even produced a comedy short (now deleted) about “how to determine if your pet is a Russian agent.”

In March, Reade began claiming that Joe Biden had “destroyed her career” and “shattered her life” twice: first via her 1993 interactions, and second by calling her a “Russian agent” in 2019.

Reade’s obsession went beyond mere tweets. When she went to Time’s Up with her sexual assault allegation, they put her in touch with several lawyers. Salon interviewed those lawyers, and they all told the same story: Reade didn’t care about pursuing a case against Biden, she wanted the lawyers to stop people from calling her a Russian agent on Twitter. Salon contacted Reade herself and she confirmed that was her goal.

Reade told Salon she wasn’t interested in suing Biden. Instead, she was angry “about the smears about being a Russian agent” from Biden supporters and was hoping a lawyer could find a way to stop them. One law firm Reade spoke with confirmed that they would not take a case with the ambiguous goal of trying to shut down people on social media who were speculating about an accuser being a “Russian agent.”

Reade also told Business Insider that she filed a police report with the DC Metro Police (in which she doesn’t name Joe Biden) not because she actually wanted an investigation, but because she hoped it would protect her from Twitter attacks.

Even though the statute of limitations rendered a full investigation highly unlikely, she took the step, she told Insider at the time, for “safety reasons” because she had faced online harassment.

Reade has even gone so far as to threaten lawsuits against her fellow Tweeters who call her a “Russian asset.”

It’s clear that Reade is obsessed with stopping people from calling her a Russian agent. She blames Joe Biden’s campaign for originating the label. Her seething hatred for Biden began in April 2019, at the exact same time people first started calling her a Russian agent. It is clear that she hates Biden not because of what he did to her in 1993, but because of what she believes he did to her in 2019.


Tara Reade has asserted that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993. She has presented no evidence that this occurred. Instead of evidence, she has presented “corroboration” that does not stand up to scrutiny. She has been very light on details, but the few details she does provide only poke further holes in her story. She has changed her story several times.

When we put all the facts together, there is a much simpler story that makes a lot more sense. This is not a story of sexual assault, but of anger and revenge.

After Tara Reade left her job in Biden’s office, she complained about the hostile workplace to her mother and her friends, leading her mother to repeat those complaints on the Larry King show. She also told her friends that she felt objectified by Biden and his staff. In spite of this experience, she and her family maintained great personal respect for Biden.

In 2018, her political views began to evolve, and she became very upset with the Democratic Party and infatuated with Russia. After she spoke up in April 2019 about feeling objectified in Biden’s office, she was attacked on social media and called a “Russian asset.” She felt like Biden was behind the attacks. She became obsessed with the subject and began hating Biden.

In the 2020 primary, Reade supported Bernie Sanders, and became convinced that there was a conspiracy afoot to rob him of the nomination. As a Biden primary victory became more and more likely, she became desperate to stop him. After his victory on Super Tuesday, she decided to get in touch with the far-left media figures she loved so much, and tell a story about being sexually assaulted by Biden. She hoped this story would sink his candidacy, leaving Bernie Sanders with the nomination.

There are many, even those who distrust Reade’s account, who have misinterpreted the meaning of “believe women.” This popular #MeToo slogan does not mean that we must automatically believe accusers without question. If that were true, we would still believe other notorious false accusations such as the Duke Lacrosse case, the UVA rape case, or Jacob Wohl’s allegation against Robert Mueller.

Human decency demands that when women come forward with their stories, we listen to them. In an earlier era, women who accused powerful men of sexual assault were reflexively labeled as liars. #MeToo has made magnificent progress by changing this dynamic and empowering women to tell their stories. This is what “believe women” truly means.

But while we must listen and believe when women tell their stories, we also must assess those stories and determine their veracity before passing judgment or pursuing action. Joe Biden himself writes:

While the details of these allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault are complicated, two things are not complicated. One is that women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced. The second is that their stories should be subject to appropriate inquiry and scrutiny.

Tara Reade’s allegation has now been subject to appropriate inquiry and scrutiny. There is no evidence to support it, and an enormous amount of evidence discrediting it. Reade has lied repeatedly and told contradictory versions of the same story. Her motivations in making the allegation are rooted in a recently-developed personal and political hatred of Biden.

The continued misrepresentation of this case by social media extremists and the mainstream media must be condemned.



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