Senate candidate and former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper (D.) said Thursday he believes Tara Reade's accusation of sexual assault against Joe Biden but will vote for Biden anyway.
Hickenlooper told a Colorado Sun reporter that he believed Reade's story "to a large extent" and that he still "absolutely" supports Biden.
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"Any woman who comes forward and talks about the sexual assault that they've had to endure, they deserve to be listened to and they deserve to be believed," Hickenlooper said. "I look at Tara Reade as someone who showed a great deal of courage to come forward and talk about what happened to her."
"It's standard that you go through a process of vetting and examination of these types of allegations and this is certainly a very complicated case," the former governor said. "In the end, I still support Joe Biden for president, absolutely."
When pressed on whether or not he believed Reade's allegation, Hickenlooper specified that he believed it "to a large extent, yes."
Reade alleged in March that Biden pushed her up against a wall and sexually assaulted her in 1993 while Reade was a staffer in Biden's Senate office. Biden denied the accusation, claiming not to remember Reade.
Hickenlooper, who ran against Biden in the Democratic presidential primary, is running for the party's nomination to challenge Republican incumbent senator Cory Gardner (Colo.).
The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission last week found Hickenlooper guilty of violating a state ban on accepting gifts while in office. He accepted free luxury travel from private donors twice. The commission also unanimously voted to hold Hickenlooper in contempt for initially failing to comply with a subpoena to testify to the committee.
The Senate primary is set to take place on June 30.