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Tara Reade, who accused Biden of sexual assault, will apply for Russian citizenship

Tara Reade poses for a photo during an interview with The Associated Press in Nevada City, Calif., on April 4, 2019. (Donald Thompson/AP)

Tara Reade, who accused Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her while she was working in his Senate office in 1993, says she will apply for Russian citizenship.

Reade appeared in an event hosted by the Russian state news outlet Sputnik on Tuesday and said she came to the decision after she says she received threats in the United States.

"I feel really happy to be here, and I feel safe," she said from Russia.

The event also featured convicted Russian agent Maria Butina, who is now a member of the Duma, the lower house of Russia's legislature. Reade said she hoped Butina could help her with her citizenship application.

"I don't know what will happen with that, but I do promise to be a good citizen and I promise to move forward with my life in a positive way," Reade said, adding that she wants to keep her U.S. citizenship as well.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said Wednesday that the administration would be "loath to comment on the musings of a potential Russian citizen."

Kirby said it would be "difficult to say" if Reade's allegations against Biden had anything to do with her affinity for Russia, but added that her claim that her life was at risk by the U.S. government is "absolutely false, baseless, there's nothing to that."

Months before the 2020 presidential election, Reade publicly accused Biden of sexually assaulting her while she was a junior staffer in his Senate office in the early 1990s.

Reade said she never disclosed the assault to other members of Biden's staff but that she filed a complaint about harassment and was later fired. Several people close to Reade have said she told them about the alleged assault at the time.

Biden has vigorously denied the allegations, saying the alleged assault "never happened." Members of his Senate staff at the time said the office had a professional atmosphere and that Reade never went to them with her claim of harassment.

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