Abrams made the comments during an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday night. Lemon asked for her opinion on accusations from former Biden staffer Tara Reade, who claimed the then-senator sexually assaulted her in 1993.
“CNN has now spoken on the record with her former neighbor who says Reade told her about the allegation within a few years of the alleged incident,” Lemon said. “Biden’s campaign says untrue, never happened. Is this a credible allegation?”
“I believe that women deserve to be heard and I believe that they need to be listened to,” Abrams responded. “But I also believe that those allegations have to be investigated by credible sources. The New York Times did a deep investigation, and they found that the accusations were not credible.”
Abrams added, “The New York Times did a deep investigation and they found that the accusation was not credible. I believe Joe Biden.”
The comments resulted a wave of spirited tweets from people disappointed in the former Georgia House member.
“Stacey Abrams debased herself in the most sickening way…I’m legitimately disgusted!!” wrote one person.
“Stacey Abrams is just another Black person willing to do the bidding of white supremacy. Pathetic,” tweeted another critic.
“A black capitalist will go to any lengths to secure money and power. There is no bottom for people like her,” argued another person.
Buzzfeed reported the Biden campaign sent talking points to Democrats that proclaimed Biden’s innocence. The excerpts published by the outlet were very similar to Abrams’ comments.
“Biden believes that all women have the right to be heard and to have their claims thoroughly reviewed,” the points stated. “In this case, a thorough review by the New York Times has led to the truth: this incident did not happen.”
A New York Times spokesperson denied the investigative piece exonerated Biden.
“BuzzFeed reported on the existence of talking points being circulated by the Biden campaign that inaccurately suggest a New York Times investigation found that Tara Reade’s allegation ‘did not happen,’” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Our investigation made no conclusion either way.”
Abrams has been open about her desire to be Biden’s pick for vice president.
I would be honored,” Abrams told Melissa Harris-Perry during an interview for Elle Magazine. “I would be an excellent running mate.”
Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, would be facing off against President Donald Trump, who managed to be elected in 2016 despite the revelation during the campaign of a tape in which he bragged about grabbing women “by the p—y.” More than 20 women have made sexual assault claims against Trump.