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Sen. John Cornyn says Russia didn't do any favors in prisoner exchange involving Trevor Reed

The Republican from Texas is also behind a bill to make it easier to send aid to Ukraine.

DALLAS — Sen. John Cornyn says make no mistake about it. Russia didn’t do anybody any favors, he says, during a prison swap that finally returned Marine veteran Trevor Reed to American soil.

“This is purely a transaction, swapping a Russian criminal who had been imprisoned here in the United States for Trevor, who had been unjustly accused and convicted,” Cornyn said on Inside Texas Politics.

The Republican senator keeps a picture of Trevor Reed in his office. And after the 30-year-old Texas native was finally released after more than 980 days in a Russian prison, Reed’s parents called Cornyn.  

But he describes his role in the process as “limited.”

“It was to try to raise the visibility of this issue, including asking President Biden to meet with Trevor’s parents, which he generously did. And I think he was moved by that experience. And hopefully that helped bring Trevor home,” said the senator.

Reed landed in San Antonio and had to spend some time in isolation inside Brooke Army Medical Center, which is the headquarters of a special program that reintegrates military members or civilians who’ve been imprisoned overseas.

After Reed left isolation, he finally got to hug his family. But his medical condition is not quite clear, his mother told Good Morning America.

Watch the segment below:

Reed is undergoing multiple tests, and the Reeds expect to have more clarity about his physical health in the next few days.

While the Marine veteran tries to regain his life here in Texas, the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues and the fighting in the eastern part of that country has even intensified in recent days. 

President Joe Biden has asked Congress for another $33 billion in aid for Ukraine over the next five months. The majority of that is for military and security aid. But around $11.5 billion would be earmarked for humanitarian aid.

“I’m for giving the Ukrainians everything they can use, both in terms of humanitarian assistance as well as weapons,” Cornyn said of the aid package.

The Republican also introduced the Ukrainian Democracy Lend Lease Act, which after final passage is now headed to the president for his signature.  

The legislation would make it even easier to send support to Ukraine, as it allows the president more power to “lend and lease” defense equipment and weapons when it is in the interest of American national security.  

The U.S. used a similar strategy during World War II.

“You may remember from your history that it was the lend lease act that provided Britain and our other allies military arms to defend themselves with even when the United States was not involved in World War II,” said Cornyn.

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