The parents of Trevor Reed, a U.S. Marine veteran imprisoned in Russia since August of 2019, finally got their face-to-face meeting with President Biden Wednesday night.
Family spokesman Jonathan Franks confirmed the impromptu meeting in a tweet, saying the President was “…incredibly gracious.”
Paula Reed, Trevor's mother, said in a message to 25 News Anchor Todd Unger that they were "very satisfied" after the meeting.
"He is so kind and so compassionate. Our meeting was about 35 to 45 minutes. He let us say everything we wanted. We felt heard and encouraged," wrote Paula.
Earlier in the day, the Texas couple demonstrated in front of the White House to once again raise awareness about their son’s imprisonment.
Confirming that @freetrevorreed and @txmommypaula met with POTUS early this evening. He was incredibly gracious.— Jonathan Franks (@jonfranks) March 30, 2022
Thank you for asking the question, @kaitlancollins. https://t.co/wq0s0cJJCx pic.twitter.com/il0ReESANM
“His country is kind of failing him right now. It’s just sad,” Paula said then. "It’s really, really hard to be his mother and think about that.”
Reed, whose family has deep ties to Central Texas, was arrested in Russia two and a half years ago on what his family says are trumped up charges of "assaulting" a police officer while drunk. He was visiting his girlfriend in Moscow at the time.
After a trial last summer that many international observers called a sham, he was sentenced to nearly a decade in a Russian prison.
“It’s a small room with a hole in the floor for a toilet," said Joey. "A faucet with untreated water [...] to stay warm he coils up next to a water pipe, and then he’s given violations for laying on the floor during the daytime.”
This week, we learned the 30-year-old is on another hunger strike after being denied medical treatment for what his family thinks is TB, or Tuberculosis.
The president called the Reed family during his visit to Fort Worth a few weeks ago, promising to meet them in person soon.
Wednesday evening, he made good on the promise after heavy media exposure throughout the day showed the family outside the White House.
Trevor is a former member of the Presidential Guard unit of the Marine Corps during the Obama administration, which means he stood guard at the White House and Camp David.