Brzezinski: But why is it different now? Do you regret what you said during the Kavanaugh hearings?
Biden: What I said during the Kavanaugh hearings was that she had a right to be heard. And the fact that she came forward—the presumption would be that she was telling the truth, unless it is proved she wasn’t telling the truth. Or not “proved” … I’m sorry.
Brzezinski: Go ahead. As we await the records from the National Archives, are you absolutely certain, are you absolutely positive there is no record of any complaint by Tara Reade against you?
Biden: I am absolutely positive that no one I am aware of was ever made aware of any complaint, a formal complaint made by … Tara Reade against me at the time this allegedly happened 27 years ago or until I announced [I was running] for president—I guess it was in April or May of this year. I know of no one who is aware that any complaint was made.
Brzezinski: I’ve got two more questions. The first about the University of Delaware records. Do you agree with the reporting that those records were supposed to be opened to the public and then they were resealed for a longer period of time until after you leave “public life”? If you agree with that, if that’s what happened, why did that happen?
Biden: The fact is, there’s a lot of speeches I’ve made, positions I’ve taken, interviews that I did overseas with people—all of those things related to my job. And the idea that they would all be made public … while I was running for public office, they could really be taken out of context. The papers are position papers. They are documents that existed that, for example, when I met with Putin or when I met with whomever. And all of that could be fodder in a campaign at this time, and I don’t know of anyone who has ever done anything like that. And the National Archives is the only place that would have anything to do with personnel records. There are no personnel records in the Biden papers at the university.
Brzezinski: Personnel records aside, are you certain there was nothing about Tara Reade in those records?
Biden: I am absolutely certain.
Brzezinski: If so, why not approve a search of her name in those records?
Biden: Approve a search of her name?
Brzezinski: Yes, and reveal anything that might be related to Tara Reade in the University of Delaware records.
Biden: There is nothing. They are not there. And I don’t understand the point you are trying to make. There are no personnel records by definition.
Brzezinski: The point I’m trying to make is that you are approving and calling for a search of the National Archive records—
Brzezinski: Of anything pertaining to Tara Reade. I’m asking why not do the same in the University of Delaware records, which have raised questions because they were supposed to be revealed to the public and then they were sealed for a longer period of time. Why not do it for both sets of records?
Biden: Because the material in the University of Delaware has no personnel files, but it does have a lot of confidential conversations I had with the president about a particular issue, that I had with heads of states of other places, that that would be something that would not be revealed while I was in public office, or while I was seeking public office. It just stands to reason. To the best of my knowledge, no one else has done that either.
Brzezinski: I’m just talking about her name, not anybody else in those records, a search for that. Nothing classified about the president or anybody else. I’m just asking why not do a search for Tara Reade’s name in the University of Delaware records?
Biden: I mean, look, who does that search?
Brzezinski: The University of Delaware? Perhaps you set up a commission that can do it? I don’t know. Whatever is the fairest way to create the most transparency.
Biden: Well, this is—Look, Mika, she said she filed a report. She still has her employment records still. She said she refiled a report with the only office that would have a report in the United States Senate at the time. If the report was ever filed, it was filed there, period.
Brzezinski: If you could speak directly to Tara Reade about her claims or anything, what would you say?
Biden: I would—this never, ever happened. I don’t know what is motivating her. I don’t know what is behind any of it, but it is irrelevant. It never happened. It never happened, period. I’m not going to start questioning her motive. I’m not going to get into that. I’m not going to start. I’m not going to go after Tara Reade for saying these things. It’s simple. What are the facts? Do any of the things she said, do they add up? It never happened.
It’s notable that Biden does not take Brzezinski’s invitation to address Reade. He is still speaking about her, in third person, as he does throughout the interview. He is not willing, at least in this forum, to speak directly to his accuser.