2020 Election

Whitmer: ‘Vast Majority’ of Sexual Assault Allegations Are True But I Believe Biden’s Denial

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer (D.) said Wednesday that while the "vast majority" of sexual misconduct allegations are true, she is still skeptical of Tara Reade's accusation against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Whitmer, a potential vice presidential contender, told The View that Biden was more credible than his accuser.

"I think that the inconsistencies that I've seen give me the judgment that I believe Joe, and I think that it's important to note that the vast majority of women who come forward, statistics show that they are telling the story that is true," she said on The View. "In this instance, I do believe Joe Biden, and everyone needs to make that judgment, weigh the facts, and make the determination for themselves."

Whitmer said at a 2016 Detroit sexual assault summit that she wanted a justice system in which accusers are "believed, period." She also asked her then-gubernatorial campaign manager Keenan Pontoni to resign in 2018 for unspecified accusations of misconduct at a prior job, saying it was "not something I would ever tolerate."

Biden has denied Reade's claim that he sexually assaulted her with his fingers in a Senate hallway in 1993. Other Democratic women on the shortlist to join the ticket have maintained their support for Biden, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), and Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Whitmer noted Wednesday that conservative cohost Meghan McCain had also remained supportive of Biden, a longtime family friend. The governor has also spoken out about being sexually assaulted as a freshman at Michigan State University.

"The Joe Biden that I know is inconsistent with what we have seen and what we have heard around this particular allegation, and I think for a lot of the same reasons that Meghan herself has cited in terms of her tweets … I will continue to enthusiastically support Joe," Whitmer said.

Reade was one of eight women who last year said Biden had touched them and made them uncomfortable, but she did not accuse him of sexual assault until a podcast interview in March. A lifelong Democrat, Reade voted for the Barack Obama-Biden ticket in 2008 and 2012, but she told interviewer Megyn Kelly last week that it was purely a vote for Obama. She has called on Biden to drop out of the presidential race.