House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended Joe Biden on Thursday against allegations of sexual assault by former Senate staffer Tara Reade, saying she's "satisfied" with how he has responded to the controversy and that she believes his denial.

Why it matters: While Biden's campaign has issued a statement saying that the alleged assault "absolutely did not happen," Biden has not personally addressed the allegations. Pelosi, along with a number of prominent Democrats who have endorsed Biden, has not directly addressed an on-the-record account from a former neighbor of Reade who says she told her about the alleged assault in 1995 or 1996.

The exchange:

PELOSI: "I have great sympathy for any women who bring forth an allegation. I'm a big strong supporter of the #MeToo movement. I think it has been a great -- made a great contribution to our country. And I do support Joe Biden. I'm satisfied with how he has responded. I know him, I was proud to endorse him on Monday, very proud to endorse him. And so I'm satisfied with that."
CNN's CAMEROTA: "I mean, he hasn't, to be clear, he hasn't addressed it, his campaign has addressed it, but he has not directly addressed it. Should he directly publicly address it?"
PELOSI: "You know, it is a matter that he has to deal with. But I am impressed with the people who work for him at the time saying that absolutely never heard one iota of information about this, nobody ever brought forth a claim or had anybody else tell them about such a claim. But, again, we have an important election at hand, one that is, I think, one of the most important ones we had."

Go deeper ... Timeline: Tara Reade's sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden

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Updated Aug 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Right-wing media defanged

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The three biggest anti-Joe Biden storylines in right-wing media over the last year have either fizzled or are getting less online traction than they used to, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: This dynamic has rendered a formidable media ecosystem less effective in boosting President Trump as we move into the heart of the 2020 campaign.

Cleanup on aisle Biden

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

After two gaffes and a low blow from President Trump questioning his faith, Joe Biden spent Thursday evening off his own message — clarifying comments and responding to attacks.

Why it matters: Biden’s responses reflect what we could see a lot more of in the next few months — cringeworthy comments and Trump smears, smacking into each other and pulling the Democrat off course.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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