- Tara Reade, the former Senate staffer who accused Joe Biden of sexual assault, is now in Russia.
- She said she moved to Moscow out of fear for her safety, and blasted the US on numerous issues.
- Reade said she seeks Russian citizenship, but also wants to retain her US passport.
Tara Reade, who in 2020 accused President Joe Biden of sexual assault, has appeared in Russia, and said she plans to become a citizen there.
Reade made the announcement at a Tuesday press conference in Moscow with Sputnik, a state-owned news outlet.
Joining her was Maria Butina, a Russian woman who was convicted in the US of trying to sway American policies as a foreign agent by infiltrating the National Rifle Association. Reade said she was welcomed by Butina, who was jailed by the US in 2018 but is now a Russian member of parliament.
“As I move forward, I hope to find safety here,” said Reade. “I appreciate my friends in Moscow, Russia, that have opened their arms to me and given me that safety, including Maria Butina.”
The former US Senate staffer said she hopes to obtain Russian citizenship from the country’s leader, Vladimir Putin.
She claimed to face intense persecution in the US after saying Biden had sexually assaulted her when she worked for him in 1993 in Congress.
“I just didn’t want to walk home and walk into a cage or be killed, which is basically my two choices,” she said. Biden has repeatedly denied Reade’s allegation.
—Tara Reade 🐎 (@ReadeAlexandra) May 30, 2023
Reade, who said she wants to keep her American citizenship, spoke about a variety of issues in the US, criticizing its infrastructure, politics, media industry, and Washington’s stance on the war in Ukraine.
“It is remarkable that Joe Biden raped me when I worked for him at the US Congress, and I’m supposed to be the fugitive,” Reade said.
Reade claimed media investigations into her credibility were part of a smear campaign
Reade filed a formal criminal complaint against Biden in 2020, but her credibility soon came under intense scrutiny. At the Moscow press conference, she characterized the investigations as a smear campaign.
While several people close to Reade came forward to corroborate her allegation, The New York Times found no former Biden staffers who could back up the details of Reade’s sexual-assault account.
The Times also reported that Reade never acquired a college degree from Antioch University in Seattle, where she claimed to have graduated and worked as a faculty member. Reade said her graduation was handled privately because her name was changed to protect her from a domestic violence-related issue.
But Antioch University publicly said that while Reade attended several semesters at the college, she neither graduated nor worked as a faculty member there.
Politico also reported that several of Reade’s ex-acquaintances accused her of manipulating them so she could borrow money or skip rent payments. One of Reade’s former landlords also claimed she spoke highly of Biden in 1994 — a year after the assault she claims took place — per Politico.
Her attorney, Douglas Wigdor, dropped her as a client in May 2020 but didn’t say why. He said he believed Reade was “subjected to a double standard” in the media and that her past life faced undue attention unrelated to her sexual assault claims.
Reade’s arrival in Moscow comes as US-Russia tensions continue to deteriorate over the war in Ukraine. She blamed American “elites” in Washington for generating a hostile atmosphere toward Moscow.
“To my Russian brothers and sisters, I’m sorry right now that American elites are choosing to have such an aggressive stance,” she said. “Just know that most American citizens do want to be friends and hope that we can have unity again.”
The White House and press service for the Russian government did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.