Tara Reade, the woman who accused President Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her when he was a U.S. senator, has defected to Russia and is now seeking to become a Russian citizen.
A former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who worked primarily in Russian studies, however, said Reade is "being played" by Russia.
Reade appeared in a Russian state propaganda video titled "A Statement and Press Conference from Tara Reade" on Tuesday and shared the video of the event on Twitter.
The video was produced by Sputnik International, a media outlet wholly owned by the Russian government.
— Tara Reade 🐎 (@ReadeAlexandra) May 30, 2023
"I'm still kind of in a daze a bit but I feel very good," Reade told Sputnik. "I feel very surrounded by protection and safety."
Reade praised Russian politician Maria Butina for assisting her defection. Butina, who is allied with President Vladimir Putin, pleaded guilty in the U.S. in 2018 to conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia.
Butina served an 18-month prison sentence, according to Fox News, before being deported back to Russia, where she had been born.
"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," Reade said. "I just didn't want to walk home and walk into a cage or be killed, which is basically my two choices."
Reade called her decision to defect "very difficult" and said that she had given it careful thought over time.
She had tweeted earlier in the month that she had been subjected to "Joe Biden and DNC political machine threats, bullying and intimidation over the last three years."
In the same tweet, she claimed that she "should not be under investigation nor am I a foreign agent," an implication that she was under investigation for acting as an unregistered foreign agent, the same crime with which Butina had been charged.
I want to make something clear. If something happens to me, all roads lead to Joe Biden.
Joe Biden and DNC political machine threats, bullying and intimidation over the last three years will not work.
I am not suicidal. I should not be under investigation nor am I a foreign…
— Tara Reade 🐎 (@ReadeAlexandra) May 7, 2023
"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 this election is gearing up and there's so much at stake, I'm almost better off here and just being safe," she said.
"My dream is to live in both places," she claimed, "but it may be that I only live in this place and that's OK."
Fox reported that Butina had essentially sponsored Reade's Russian citizenship and that Putin was "potentially looking to fast-track the request."
The White House had little to say about Reade's story, according to Fox.
"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," said White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates when Fox reached out for comment.
"Tara Reade is being played by Putin’s regime to stick it to Biden and give the story about the sexual assault allegation another run, in the aftermath of his announcing his run for re-election in 2024," said Rebekah Koffler, president of Doctrine & Strategy Consulting and a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer.
Koffler was a senior intelligence analyst for Russian doctrine and strategy for the DIA from 2008 to 2016, when she became a freelance intelligence analyst and author of "Putin's Playbook: Russia's Secret Plan to Defeat America," according to her LinkedIn profile.
"Nothing is ‘kosher’ when it comes to any Russian media, but it doesn’t mean that the whole thing is a lie," Koffler told Fox. "Russian propaganda is very sophisticated: they take something that did happen, such as Tara Reade giving an interview, but then they amplify and twist it."
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.