Former Bernie Sanders staffers and supporters are speaking out against Joe Biden following a sexual assault allegation against the ex-vice president — and in some cases challenging Sanders to do the same.
Former Senate staff aide Tara Reade has accused Biden of assaulting her in 1993. His campaign has vehemently denied the allegations.
In the wake of a decades-old clip surfacing that adds more weight to Reade’s claims, some Sanders backers are suggesting Biden drop out and holding out hope that Sanders’ suspended presidential campaign could somehow be revived.
“Dear @DNC , you have two options: 1. Pull Biden now and win with Bernie 2. Keep Biden, re-elect Trump, and admit that suppressing progressives is the true purpose of your party,” tweeted former Sanders 2016 campaign outreach director Nick Brana, who included the hashtag #DropOutBiden.
“Progressives didn’t make this happen. Corporate Democrats chose Biden,” former Sanders press secretary Briahna Joy Gray tweeted. Gray also added: “It’s a good time to note that Bernie’s on the ballot.”
Video from the year of the alleged assault recently surfaced, in which a woman now identified as Reade’s mother called into Larry King’s CNN program alluding to “problems” her daughter faced while working as a staffer for the then-U.S. senator from Delaware. Reade confirmed to Fox News that the caller in 1993 was indeed her mother.
Meanwhile, former Sanders senior adviser Winnie Wong criticized progressives for their “relative silence” regarding the video, and former Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign staffer Tezlyn Figaro questioned why Sanders — who has endorsed Biden — has remained quiet about the issue.
“When I look at Joe Biden and who’s holding him accountable, it’s his voters,” Figaro told “Fox & Friends” Monday, claiming that Biden’s supporters do not appear to be concerned. “But the question really is what about Bernie Sanders and the millions of millions of people that support him? Why is Bernie Sanders also quiet on this issue?”
Sanders’ campaign, meanwhile, has been trying to keep the Vermont senator on the ballot for the New York primary so that he can amass more delegates and have greater influence on the Democratic Party’s platform. (On Monday, New York shot down the effort, canceling the election.)
Figaro said Monday morning that Sanders should get back in the race or stay out of the picture.
“Sanders should either reactive his campaign or sit down. It is wrong to keep playing these #BernieOnTheBallot #DropOutBiden games when he knows damn well he has already sealed the deal,” she tweeted.
Fox News reached out to the Biden campaign on Friday for comment. The campaign referred Fox News to a statement earlier this month from Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield that said: “What is clear about this claim: it is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”
“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women,” Bedingfield said. “He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard – and heard respectfully. Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Joseph Wulfsohn, and Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.