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White House press secretary Jen Psaki fended off questions about sexual misconduct allegations leveled against President Biden Wednesday following the commander-in-chief’s decision to call on embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign following a harassment probe.
“Should there be an independent investigation of allegations into the president as there was into Gov. Cuomo?” New York Post reporter Steven Nelson asked Psaki, after summarizing a number of allegations that surfaced against Biden during the 2020 campaign.
“The president has been clear and outspoken about the importance of women being respected and having their voices heard and being allowed to tell their stories and people treating them with respect,” Psaki replied.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
She said that was still the president’s policy.
“That was heavily litigated during the campaign,” Psaki added. “I understand you’re eager to come back to it, but I don’t have anything further other than to repeat that he has called for the governor to resign.”
Nelson brought up Tara Reade’s allegation of a 1993 sexual assault, which the president has denied, as well as accusations from Secret Service agents that Biden had skinny dipped in front of them, and New York Times and Washington Post reporting on women “who objected to the way President Biden touched them.”
After the news conference, Reade in an interview with the Daily Caller disputed Psaki’s characterization that her allegations had been “litigated during the campaign.”
“There’s been no litigation,” Reade told the outlet. “There’s been no investigation. That’s a lie. That’s misleading the public.”
She told the Caller that Psaki should retract the statement.
Psaki’s office did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.
During the White House news briefing, she had said the president has no plans to call Cuomo and request he resign amid sexual harassment allegations of his own. But she reiterated that Biden has already publicly called on Cuomo to step down.
“The president made clear because of the abhorrent allegations … that it is time for Gov. Cuomo to resign,” she said.
A report released Tuesday by the New York Attorney General’s Office found the governor had sexually harassed 11 women between 2013 and 2020.
Cuomo accuser Lindsey Boylan has voiced support for Reade, tweeting months before she came forward with allegations against the governor that Reade’s story is “compelling, believable and it’s deeply unsettling.”
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