Biden's Accuser Defects to Russia

Tara Reade says she finally feels 'safe,' 'heard,' and 'respected'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2023 10:00 AM CDT
Biden's Accuser Defects to Russia
Tara Reade poses for a photo during an interview with the AP in Nevada City, Calif., on April 4, 2019.   (AP Photo/Donald Thompson)

Tara Reade has defected to Russia. The woman who accuses President Biden of sexually assaulting her when she worked in his Senate office in 1993 revealed the move in a Tuesday news conference in Moscow that "lasted several hours," CNN reports. Reade spoke with Russian state media outlets while seated next to convicted Russian spy Maria Butina, now a member of Russian parliament allied with President Vladimir Putin. Reade previously praised Putin online—a fact that surfaced when she went public with her accusation against Biden in 2020. She drew renewed attention this month when she tweeted that she would "testify under oath in Congress if asked to do so and tell what happened and what I know."

"If something happens to me, all roads lead to Joe Biden," Reade wrote in the May 7 tweet, claiming the Justice Department and FBI were involved in "intimidation and bullying to silence me." Speaking Tuesday, the 59-year-old said she was seeking Russian citizenship due to death threats related to her tweet. "I just didn't want to walk home and walk into a cage or be killed, which is basically my two choices," she said, per the Guardian. In the lead-up to the 2024 election, where "there's so much at stake," Reade said, "I'm almost better off here and just being safe." "When I got off the plane in Moscow, for the first time in a very long time I felt safe, and I felt heard, and I felt respected," she continued, per CNN.

She offered appreciation to "Maria and everyone who's been giving me [protection]." Butina said she would ask Putin to "fast-track" Reade's citizenship request, per CNN. Reade said she hoped to be able to live in Russia and the US. "But it may be that I only live in this place and that's OK," she said. "I am enjoying my time in Moscow, and I feel very at home." She claimed "this illusion of Russia as an enemy is propagated by a few Washington elites who are determined to cause problems" and apologized "to my Russian brothers and sisters ... that American elites are choosing to have such an aggressive stance." (Biden denies that he digitally penetrated Reade. No former staffers have corroborated the allegation, though others close to Reade have.)

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