Biden phones family of American detained in Russia
President Biden phoned the parents of Trevor Reed, a former U.S. Marine detained in Russia, on Tuesday to “reiterate his commitment to doing everything he can to bring their son home,” according to a White House official.
The phone call came after the family had unsuccessfully sought a meeting with Biden during his trip to Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday for an event focused on veterans health care.
“After his event in Fort Worth, the President called Joey and Paula Reed to reiterate his commitment to doing everything he can to bring their son home, to staying in close touch with them through his national security team, and to finding a time to meet in person,” the White House official said Tuesday evening.
The Reeds had hoped to meet with Biden when he was in Texas, their home state, to discuss their son’s case.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One earlier Tuesday that Biden looked forward to meeting the Reed family in the future but indicated scheduling constraints prevented the president from meeting them on Tuesday.
“We weren’t able to make it happen on this trip,” Psaki said.
The Reed family organized a demonstration near Biden’s event to raise awareness about their son’s case throughout the day on Tuesday.
Trevor Reed was arrested in Russia in 2019 on charges of assaulting a police officer during a drunken incident and sentenced to nine years in prison the following year. Reed says he does not remember the incident.
The U.S. has called his detention unjust and sought to secure his release from Russian custody. Biden raised Reed’s case, as well as that of Paul Whelan, another American detained in Russia, during a one-on-one meeting with Putin last summer in Geneva.
Joey Reed told The Hill in an interview Monday that Trevor’s physical condition has deteriorated and that he has reported coughing up blood after being exposed to another prisoner with tuberculosis.
Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine has raised questions about the fates of Americans detained in Russia.
During his service in the Marines, Reed served as a presidential guard at Camp David under President Obama.