Sanders says Biden's sexual assault accuser 'has the right to make her claims and get a public hearing'

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has responded to a sexual assault allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden.

Last month, Tara Reade, a former assistant to Biden when he was in the Senate, accused Biden of sexual assault during that time. Sanders responded to them for the first time on Thursday, saying Reade "has a right to make her claims and get a public hearing."

Sanders was asked about the claims in a Thursday interview with CBS This Morning, partly because Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a prominent Sanders supporter, had recently said the allegations are relevant when it comes to deciding whether to vote for Biden. "I think it's relevant to talk about anything. And I think every woman who feels she has been assaulted has every right in the world to stand up and make her claims," Sanders said. "The public will make their own conclusions about it," Sanders continued, before saying "I just don't know enough about it to comment further."

Sanders was Biden's top rival in the presidential primary until he suspended his 2020 run last week and endorsed Biden. Biden "firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully," his campaign said, but maintained Reade's claim is untrue.

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