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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Maroosha Muzaffar

Tara Reade, who accused Biden of sexual assault, says she has ‘defected’ to Russia at event with Kremlin spy

Tara Reade, who accused Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993, has defected to Russia.

The former Senate aide appeared in a bombshell interview on Russian state TV on Tuesday alongside accused Kremlin spy Maria Butina and said she was feeling “at home” in Moscow.

Ms Reade, 59, who worked in Mr Biden’s office decades ago, said she made the “very difficult” decision to move to the Russian capital because she no longer felt safe in the US.

“I am still kind of in a daze a bit but I feel very good. I feel very surrounded by protection and safety,” she said. “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 am safe or not.”

“You have US and European citizens looking for safe haven here. And luckily, the Kremlin is accommodating. So we’re lucky,” she was quoted as saying by state-owned news agency Sputnik.

Ms Reade previously accused Mr Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993 when she was a staff assistant and had called for him to drop out of the 2020 presidential race. She worked as Mr Biden’s aide in 1993.

There have also been some media reports about inconsistencies in her allegations against Mr Biden. Ms Reade’s educational background had been called into question years ago.

The president had previously denied the sexual assault allegations against him.

“To my Russian brothers and sisters, I am sorry right now that American elites are choosing to have such an aggressive stance,” she said in the interview. “Just know that most American citizens do want to be friends and hope that we can have unity again.”

“I am enjoying my time in Moscow, and I feel very at home,” she said.

“I just didn’t want to walk home and walk into a cage or be killed, which is basically my two choices,” she added.

She also said she took her time to decide for herself.

“I’m not an impulsive person. I really take my time and sort of analyse data points. And from what I could see based on the cases and based on what was happening and sort of the push for them to not want me to testify, I felt that while [the 2024] election is gearing up and there’s so much at stake, I’m almost better off here and just being safe.”

“My dream is to live in both places, but it may be that I only live in this place and that’s OK,” she added.

In 2020, a high-profile lawyer of the #MeToo era, Douglas H Wigdor, had dropped Ms Reade as a client.

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