Democratic President Joe Biden released a statement on the morning of April, 27, 2022, saying Granbury, Texas resident Trevor Reed was released from a Moscow jail and on his way home.
President Biden wrote:
"The negotiations that allowed us to bring Trevor home required difficult decisions that I do not take lightly."
“His safe return is a testament to the priority my Administration places on bringing home Americans held hostage and wrongfully detained abroad."
"We won’t stop until Paul Whelan and others join Trevor in the loving arms of family and friends."
Reed, a United States Marine, was arrested in the summer of 2019. Russian authorities said he assaulted a police officer while intoxicated as he was driven to a police station.
Texas politicians like Republican Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn and GOP Governor Greg Abbott were quick to share in the celebration, releasing statements, speaking with local and national news outlets and posting messages on social media.
You can see some of those comments here from Dallas' WFAA News:
But Joey Reed—Trevor's father—doesn't think the public messages from Senator Cruz were sincere or warranted.
The elder Reed made clear he doesn't want Cruz exploiting his family's ordeal just to score some much needed public goodwill.
Joey Reed praised several Texas legislators in an interview with The Dallas Morning News, but Cruz was not among them.
Of Cruz, Reed said:
"He didn't do anything."
"He's an embarrassment to the state of Texas, let me just say that."
"I don't care what or who runs against him, I will work for their campaign to defeat that son of a bitch."
When Cruz called the family, Joey Reed said he asked the Republican Senator:
"'Where have you been for the last 2 1/2 years?'"
"I hit him point-blank: 'We are not appreciative'."
Reed family spokesperson Jonathan Franks told Insider:
"They don't need celebratory tweets or phone calls when their loved one has been released."
"They need tweets and phone calls when their loved ones are in jail."
The family said when they contacted Cruz for help in 2019, his staff told them as an "enemy of Putin," the Senator couldn't help. Franks said the family never heard from Cruz again until after Trevor was released.
"Particularly when Trump was President, it would've helped a lot if Ted Cruz had picked up the phone and called the President and said, 'Bring this kid home'."
"We were almost there."
"Like, he could have picked up the phone, called Trump, and told him to make a deal."
But Cruz claimed he did help, but was told by the "Administration" not to discuss his work for Reed publicly.
Cruz said in a statement:
"We were repeatedly advised by Administration officials that my taking a public role in this specific case would be counterproductive and that because of my role fighting to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, leaders in Russia may well have linked the two issues."
According to Joey Reed, Cruz was asked to help his family in 2019—during the administration of Republican President Donald Trump—while Cruz's objections to the Russo-German Nord Stream 2 pipeline weren't until January 2022.
Joey Reed pointed out Texas GOP Representative Michael McCaul also publicly opposed Nord Stream 2, but was still a vocal advocate for Trevor Reed's release.
It is unclear which administration Cruz claimed kept him from publicly showing his support of efforts to free Reed for over 2 years—Trump or Biden.
When Cruz shared a note of congratulations on Twitter...
...people let the Republican Senator know of the Reed family's sentiments.
Cruz has been in need of some image rehab since he put aside the personal attacks by Trump against his wife—whom Trump called unattractive—and his father—whom Trump claimed was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy—to become one of Trump's biggest cheerleaders in Congress.
Cruz further hurt his public image when he took off for Cancun, Mexico when Texas was in a state of emergency due to power outages and freezing temperatures.
Cruz can use all the public goodwill he can get, but Joey Reed is determined it won't be by riding on his family's coattails.