Tara Reade, the ex-Senate staffer who accused then-Presidential candidate Joe Biden in 2020 of sexual assault three decades prior, has recently fled the United States and sought refuge in Russia.
Reade made her announcement during an interview with the pro-Russian media organization Sputnik, accompanied by Maria Butina, a convicted Russian agent.
Tara Reade Seeks Refuge in Russia
“I feel very surrounded by protection and safety” in Russia, Reade expressed during the interview. “And I just really so appreciate Maria [Butina] and everyone who’s been giving me that at a time when it’s been very difficult to know if I’m safe or not.”
While Reade conveyed her gratitude to Butina and her sense of security in Russia, she did not provide specific details about the threats she claims to have faced in the United States or the circumstances that led her to seek refuge in Russia.
Reade Connected to Russian Agent Maria Butina
The complexity of this situation deepens when considering the involvement of Maria Butina, a convicted Russian agent currently serving as a member of the Duma, the lower house of Russia's legislature.
Butina has also been romantically linked to Patrick Byrne, the former CEO of Overstock.com who was investigated for advising former President Trump on overturning the 2020 election. Butina also has relationships with other top Trump allies and in Moscow.
Reade's association with Butina raises questions about the nature of their relationship and the potential influences at play.
Reade's Alleged Involvement in a Russian Information Operation
Former U.S. intelligence officials have expressed suspicions regarding Reade's actions and associations, suggesting the possibility of her involvement in a Russian information operation.
Former CIA analyst Gail Helt watched the entire Sputnik broadcast, remarking that Reade “acknowledges and thanks Maria Butina, calls her a friend and suggests that they've been friends for years. So, if you have known her for years, was she influencing you in 2019 when you accused Joe Biden? I mean, there's a lot that was really fishy about that.”
“I mean, you want to talk about a Russian information operation, that is one. I was just horrified. It offended me viscerally,” expressed Helt.
Reade’s Pro-Russia Stance “Comes as No Surprise”
While the White House has refrained from speculating on Reade's motivations, it has acknowledged Russia's history of interfering in U.S. elections, urging caution in interpreting her actions.
However, when asked about Reade, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said, “the one thing I will say is that allegations that her life was at risk by the United States government (are) absolutely false, baseless, there’s nothing to that.”
Kirby added, “it should come as no surprise to anybody that Mr. Putin would show an interest in making it hard for President Biden to win election and to try to interfere in his ability to govern as president of the United States.”
Kirby’s statements are corroborated by Reade’s pro-Russia claims during her interview.
“To my Russian brothers and sisters, I’m sorry right now that American elites are choosing to have such an aggressive stance. Just know that most American citizens do want to be friends and hope that we can have unity again,” Reade said. “I am enjoying my time in Moscow, and I feel very at home.”