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Biden accuser says mother called 'Larry King Live' in 1993 for advice

A video allegedly shows Tara Reade's mother calling in to the CNN talk show saying her daughter had problems while working for a senator in Washington.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this March 12, 2020, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del.

WASHINGTON — Editor's note: This story contains details of an alleged sexual assault that may be disturbing to some readers.

A video that has recently appeared online reportedly shows the mother of a woman who accused Joe Biden of sexual assault calling in to the CNN show "Larry King Live" in 1993 and seeking advice for her daughter. 

The caller says her daughter had problems working for a senator in Washington, and now Tara Reade, a former aide who has accused Biden of sexual assault, has told news outlets this week that it's her mother's voice in the video.

The "Larry King Live" interview clip was first reported on by The Intercept, and now CNN, which aired the talk show for years. Both report that the video from 1993 appears to feature Reade's mother calling in to the cable TV program, around the time of the alleged assault.

"Yes, hello. I'm wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington?" the caller asks a panel on the show. "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."

King responds, "She had a story to tell but out of respect for the person she worked for, she didn't tell it?"

"That's true," the woman says.

The August 1993 broadcast was about the harsh nature of Washington, D.C. politics and media.

Reade told CNN on Friday that she became emotional when she heard the tape because she had not heard her mother's voice in years. Reade's mother, Jeanette Altimus, died in 2016.

In the clip, the woman is never identified by name but her location is said to be San Luis Obispo, California. News outlets found that Altimus lived in San Luis Obispo when the show aired. Sexual assault and Biden's name are also not specifically mentioned in the video.

The Biden campaign declined to comment on the video to CNN, but pointed to an earlier statement in which he denies the allegations.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee will likely take on President Donald Trump in November's election. 

Trump has also been accused of assault and unwanted touching by numerous women, charges he denies.

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In two recent interviews with The Associated Press, Reade alleged the assault occurred in the basement of a Capitol Hill office building in the spring of 1993.

Reade says 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, groped her and penetrated her with his fingers. 

It’s not the first time Reade has made an accusation against Biden. Last year, she had publicly accused him of inappropriate touching, but did not allege sexual assault. Reade filed a police report earlier this month in Washington saying she was the victim of a sexual assault by an unnamed person in 1993.

In a statement, Biden deputy campaign manager and communications director Kate Bedingfield said the former vice president has “dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women,” pointing to his work passing the Violence Against Women Act. She said “he firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully,” but added: “Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press.”

Earlier in the Democratic primary, Biden faced accusations of unwanted touching by several women, who said they were uncomfortable with hugs, hand holding and other actions. Reade was among the women who came forward at the time.

Credit: AP
FILE - In this March 12, 2020, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del.