Trevor Reed, a US citizen and former Marine recently freed from two years in prison in Russia, has pledged to campaign against any lawmakers who slow down legislation aimed at helping detained Americans.
In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Reed appeared to take aim at a group of House GOP lawmakers, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who he says slowed passage of a resolution last year calling for its release. “I’m going to go to each of their campaigns and personally thank them for it,” he said.
“How do you justify that? It’s embarrassing to me that someone representing the United States would vote against something like that. I’m sure the Russians loved it. I’m sure they’re all great fans of all those congressmen who’ve done this,” Reed continued. “It’s totally unacceptable to me. It’s embarrassing. And I better never see that happen to other Americans again because I Promise I’ll be on every campaign this person runs for the rest of their life to tell everyone they did this.
Greene’s office did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Reed’s father, Joey, expressed his frustration with Greene, as well as “his buddies and that little bunch of idiots.”
Beyond that, Joey Reed, a former Marine, told CNN he was also disappointed with the Marines’ handling of his son’s imprisonment.
“We haven’t heard from the Marine Corps. Not a single Marine Corps representative. No Marine Corps groups,” he told Tapper.
The Marines did not address the merits of Joey Reed’s complaint, but told CNN in a statement, “Trevor Reed served his country honorably as a Marine and we thank him for his service. We are happy that he has returned home safely and wish him and his family the best as they reunite.
Reed was sentenced to nine years in prison in July 2020 after being accused of endangering the “life and health” of Russian police officers during an altercation the previous year. He and his family have denied the charges against him. Eventually, Reed was returned to the United States in a prisoner exchange for Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian smuggler convicted of conspiracy to import cocaine. The United States commuted his sentence.
Behind the scenes, officials inside and outside the US government had worked for years to secure Reed’s release.
Last month’s exchange, an administration official told CNN, was the culmination of “months and months of painstaking work within the U.S. government” that took place amid growing tensions between Washington and Moscow – dramatically exacerbated by Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine.
“We must do absolutely everything we can, as Americans, to defend Americans who are illegally detained overseas and do everything in our power to get them out,” Reed told CNN.