- The Washington Times
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

President Biden said Wednesday that he‘s still open to meeting with the parents of Trevor Reed, a former U.S. Marine who has been imprisoned in Russia since 2019.

Mr. Biden has promised before to meet with Mr. Reed‘s parents but the meeting never materialized.

“I’m going to see if I can go see them,” Mr. Biden told reporters. “They’re good people.”

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said the president is “very eager” to meet with Mr. Reed‘s parents, adding that the administration is trying to schedule a meeting.

Earlier Wednesday, Mr. Reed‘s parents protested outside the White House, calling for a meeting with Mr. Biden that they say was promised to them.

“It was 22 days ago when the president said that he would have someone call us immediately when he got back to D.C. and set it up,” Paula Reed, Trevor‘s mother, told reporters outside the White House fence.

“The office staff have not called us. And we wanted to be here to bring attention to Trevor‘s case and to let them know that we did not forget. We’re waiting for that phone call and we want the meeting the president promised us,” Ms. Reed said.

Paula Reed and her husband Joey, sat in front of the White House’s North Lawn wearing T-shirts with their son’s picture. They hung a large red banner with the same photo of their son and the words: “Free Trevor Reed: Wrongfully Imprisoned by Russia since 2019.”

The Reeds said they intend to stay outside the White House through Friday.

It is not the first time the Reeds have sought a meeting with Mr. Biden. When the president traveled to Texas earlier this month, the Reeds unsuccessfully pushed for a meeting with him.

Mr. Biden later called them and pledged to bring their son home. He also said the White House would work to set up an in-person meeting with the family.

Trevor Reed was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison in July 2020. He was convicted of assaulting two Russian police officers after he allegedly blacked out while drunk at a party in 2019.

Mr. Reed‘s family has always insisted that he‘s been convicted on trumped-up charges so Moscow could use him as a political pawn when they needed one.

His parents said he‘s on a hunger strike to protest his treatment by Russian officials.

During his stint in the Marines, Mr. Reed served as a presidential guard at Camp David for former President Obama.

Efforts to secure Mr. Reed’s release come as relations between Russia and the U.S. have reached their lowest levels in decades because of the Ukraine war.

The situation has complicated efforts to bring home not only Mr. Reed but other Americans detained in Russia, including WNBA star Brittney Griner. Ms. Griner was detained in Russia for allegedly possessing vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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