Six days later, Joe Biden calls out Harvey Weinstein

Story highlights

  • "While we have made progress together, we know that violence and the abuse of power still persist today," Biden said
  • Biden's statement on Weinstein comes after many other Democrats have come out and expressed their disapproval

Washington (CNN)Six days after sexual harassment allegations were originally made against Harvey Weinstein, former Vice President Joe Biden expressed his disgust with the Hollywood executive and Democratic megadonor.

Speaking at the Anti-Violence Project Courage Awards Wednesday night in New York City after being presented with a courage award for his work on behalf of the LGBTQ community, Biden, for the first time, addressed the situation with Weinstein, who has now been accused of sexual assault and rape as well as decades of predatory behavior.
"While we have made progress together, we know that violence and the abuse of power still persist today," Biden said. "We've recently seen that in stark relief in the disgusting conduct and behavior of a very powerful figure in Hollywood. A man who had power over scores of women and their careers. He abused that power in a disgusting and immoral way."
    The former vice president later did call out Weinstein by name.
    "My father taught me that the greatest sin was the abuse of power: Mental. Physical. Or economic. The cardinal sin was for a man to use his power to abuse a woman or a child. It is disgusting. But because of the bravery of so many courageous women speaking up. Putting their careers at risk to save other women from similar abuse, this disgusting behavior -- at least on the part of Harvey Weinstein -- has been brought to an abrupt and justifiable end."
    Biden is set to make remarks Thursday at Rutgers University promoting the "It's On Us" campaign that he started in the White House with former President Barack Obama to combat sexual assault on college campuses.
    Biden's public statement on Weinstein also comes after other prominent Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and the Obamas, have come out and expressed their disapproval.
    "I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior," Clinton said in a statement Tuesday.
    On Wednesday, Clinton addressed the sizable donations Weinstein made to her campaigns throughout the years and said she plans to donate that money to charity.
    A statement from the Obamas on Tuesday evening similarly expressed disgust at Weinstein's reported actions and praised those who came forward.
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    "Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein," the statement said. "Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture -- including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect -- so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future."
    Weinstein is a longtime associate of the Clintons and a major Democratic Party donor who bundled funds for the party's political campaigns, including supporting both of Clinton's presidential bids. Weinstein was also a bundler -- someone who gathers donations from others into large sums -- for the Obama-Biden 2012 effort.
    Biden's resurgence of the "It's On Us" campaign comes as the Trump administration has formally rescinded Obama-era guidance on how schools should handle sexual assault under Title IX federal law. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced last month that her department is concerned that previous guidance denied proper due process to those accused.
    Biden has also been outspoken against alleged lewd behavior by President Donald Trump, which Trump was caught describing in the infamous "Access Hollywood" audio tape that surfaced just over one year ago.
    In October 2016, while campaigning for Clinton, Biden was quick to call out the remarks by Trump on the tape about grabbing women by the genitals amounted to the "textbook definition of sexual assault."
    "His admission of what is the textbook definition of sexual assault," Biden said, adding that the then-presidential nominee's comments were "not inconsistent with the way in which he's abused power all along."