- The White House took a swipe at Tara Reade after the former Biden Senate aide moved to Russia.
- Reade previously accused Biden of assaulting her in the 1990s, a charge he has repeatedly denied.
- Reade told a Russian-state news outlet that she feels safer there now.
The White House took a swipe at Tara Reade on Tuesday, casting aspersions on the former Senate aide who previously accused President Joe Biden of sexual assault for her move to Russia.
“I won’t attempt to speak for an aspiring Russian citizen, the convicted Russian spy who’s sponsoring her, or the foreign government with which she has chosen to align,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement first reported by CNN’s Edward-Isaac Dovere.
Reade said in an interview with Sputnik, a Russian state-owned news organization, that she would like to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin for Russian citizenship. She said that she “very surrounded by protection and safety” of her move. Biden has repeatedly denied that he assaulted Reade when she worked for his Senate office in the 1990s, an allegation that arose during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
“I just really so appreciate Maria and everyone who’s been giving me [protection] at a time when it’s been very difficult to know if I’m safe or not,” Reade told Sputnik, according to The Guardian.
During the interview, Reade sat next to Maria Butina, a woman who was convicted of acting as an unregistered Russian agent. The US previously sanctioned Butina, who has garnered significant fame back in Russia where she is a member of parliament.
Reade expressed hope to hold both Russia and US citizenship, though it’s unclear how likely that might be. US-Russia relations have cratered in the wake of Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, which came on the heels of repeated Russian meddling in US elections.
An Insider message to Reade was not immediately returned. On her Twitter account, Reade has retweeted encouragement for her move.