Ilhan Omar says she’ll vote for Biden despite believing his accuser

Congresswoman prioritizes defeating Trump but says she still supports victims' rights

Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar tweeted yesterday that despite believing Tara Reade’s sexual assault claims against Joe Biden, she will still support the presumptive nominee in his bid for the presidency. 

“Believing survivors is consistent with my values,” Omar wrote, “I will vote for him and help him defeat Trump.”

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In a second tweet, she wrote, “This is the most important election of our lifetime,” she continued saying that the Democratic party has to mobilize to defeat Donald Trump. “That’s the goal we should all be united on.” 

The tweets were in response to criticism which came after an interview that Omar gave to The Sunday Times. The English publication interviewed the congresswoman about several subjects, the most pressing issue being the sexual abuse allegations against Biden. 

Omar contends that some of her remarks were taken out of context, the writer of the article says that is not true. The Sunday Times Washington bureau chief, Josh Glancy advised readers to make their own decision after reading the article. A subscription is required to read the full story. 

Reade, a former Senate staffer, says that the former Senator from Delaware pinned her against a wall in a hotel hallway and penetrated her with his fingers. Biden has vehemently denied the allegation. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden, sided by Dr. Jill Biden delivers remarks at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA on March 10, 2020. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

When asked if she believed Reade, Omar’s full response was: “There’s a lot of unsavoury stuff. It is troubling, I do believe Tara Reade, I believe it’s important for us to give space for women to come forward and share their stories. It takes years and years for sexual assault survivors to come forward. Justice can be delayed but it should never be denied.”

Omar is not the only voice who says that the claims should be meaningfully addressed by Biden. Another member of “The Squad,” Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley wrote an essay on Medium where she said, “Our assumptions and our starting points for these conversations have to change, and the allegations against Joe Biden are no exception.” 

Pressley said, “I reject the false choice that my party and our nominee can’t address the allegations at hand and defeat the occupant of the White House.”

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In the interview with The Sunday Times, Omar said, “If considerations [over the candidate] were something I had influence over, just candidly here, we’d probably have a different candidate.” She had previously supported Bernie Sanders

For his part, Joe Biden has previously said, “I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade.”