Megyn first interviewed Tara Reade in the spring of 2020 (you can watch it here) about the sexual assault allegations she was bringing against then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Her claims dated back to her time as an aide in Biden’s Senate office in the early 1990s. She said the then-senator sexually harassed and assaulted her. Biden has denied allegations.
Earlier this week, Reade caused a stir when she appeared in Moscow alongside convicted Kremlin spy Maria Butina to answer questions from Russian state media. She said she is choosing to stay in the country because she does not feel safe in the United States.
On Thursday, Reade joined Megyn for an exclusive interview about why she went to Russia and the circumstances that led to her staying there.
How Tara Reade Got to Russia
Since Reade first came forward with her allegations against Biden in 2019, some have questioned if she had connections to the Kremlin. When she first sat down with Megyn in 2020, she made it clear she had never been to Russia, something she maintained on Thursday.
Instead, Reade said she traveled to Russia in late May because of her book, Left Out: When the Truth Doesn’t Fit In. “During COVID, I published a book. Nobody’s book that was published during COVID really did that well… so it’s been kind of limping along,” she explained. “And I just decided – I have the opportunity to have it translated, so I was coming [to Russia] to oversee the translation and then it was being internationally distributed.”
While she was there, Reade said she received an invite from Channel One – a state-controlled television network – to be interviewed. She told Megyn her original plan was to be in Russia for one week. One of Reade’s attorneys, Due Process International CEO Radha Stirling, has subsequently confirmed that her travel and accommodations were paid for by Channel One. When Megyn asked Reade why the network would do so, she said they wanted her there “for the interview” and to discuss her book and her case.
She confirmed that she was planning to return to the U.S. – though she only had a one-way ticket. “They gave me a one-way and then I was getting another one-way because I think I was going to go through a different country on the way back home because I had come through Istanbul and I wasn’t sure about leaving through Istanbul because, at that time, they were having the elections and whatnot,” she shared. “I was thinking about leaving through Dubai.”
Why Tara Reade Is Staying in Russia
Reade said that she was in the midst of choosing what country she wanted to travel home through when she received a tip about her safety that made her change her plans. “They were about to purchase my ticket and I was deciding if I was going to go through Istanbul or Dubai and we were in conversation,” she explained. “And then I started getting information that if I returned [to the U.S.] that I might be at risk of being picked up at the airport.”
As Reade explained it, she had been in contact with American expats – including former journalists and intelligence agents – who are living in Russia. “They’ve had to not be able to go back to their home of origin, but they still have intelligence ties,” Reade shared. “I was given two separate messages that there may be – that the U.S. government wasn’t happy with my vacation choice and there may be something happening if I flew back in.”
When Megyn asked whether the messages were “loose talk” or a “specific threat,” Read said it was the latter. “It was two people with specific knowledge that I was in specific danger,” she explained. “I was given a very specific message around the middle of the week when I was about to purchase the [return plane] ticket. In fact, it was that day and I was in conversations with the person to get it arranged.” She said the person told her to “please think about staying because there may be a Red Notice by Interpol warrant for your arrest if you go to an airport.”
In a statement, Reade’s attorney Stirling further elaborated on the circumstances:
“It is a gross mischaracterisation to portray Ms Reade’s temporary exile in Russia to escape persecution by the President of the United States, and all the weaponised intelligence and security arms of the government at his disposal, as ‘defection’. She did not travel to Russia with any intention to stay there, but only to oversee translation of her book. While in Russia, however, the Biden machine ramped up its campaign to demonize and silence her, which meant that she could not return to her home country without the threat of immediate detention and the denial of due process. During her week-long trip, she was informed by multiple credible US sources that her life was at risk and she faced detention without charge on return to the US.
Her decision to remain temporarily in Russia was made for her own personal safety and she has not applied for asylum. Despite the disruption to her life, Ms Reade remains fully committed to testifying under oath in congress. We are working to protect her from Interpol abuse, the weaponization of the US justice system and threats to her life, while promoting safe passage for her to testify with support of members of congress and senators.”– Radha Stirling
Reade, meanwhile, told Megyn that she is working with both Stirling and an American attorney. “[She] is helping with finding out where these warrants are,” she said. “I don’t really understand all the process. It’s very complicated… but there is a mechanism to find out and we’re in the process of doing that.”
U.S. Investigations into Tara Reade
Additionally, Reade said that there was a case opened against her by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI in 2020. “They pulled all my Twitter communications. That attorney informed me that all of my communications were taken under seal warrants, meaning that other companies like Google, Gmail, phone whatever,” she explained. “But Twitter had chosen to go to court to inform me and they had to make several motions in court to even tell me that there’s the sealed case.”
A grand jury was impaneled, but – given that the election had passed and she hadn’t heard anything – Reade assumed nothing had come of it. “And what I found out is, no, actually it can sit there for as long as they want and then they can choose to indict like they did Julian Assange,” she noted. “His sat there for 10 years and then they indicted.”
How Tara Reade Is Feeling Today
Reade has only been in Russia for about a week, but she said she is “more than okay” in her current situation. “I’m safe, and I’m very grateful to the Russian Federation. They are keeping me safe, and I feel safe,” she said. “I’m not being targeted in this country, and it’s beautiful here. I’ve been to a lot of cities around the world and this is one of the most stunning cities I’ve ever been to.”
You can check out the full interview with Reade by tuning in to episode 563 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.