The mother of abducted American journalist Austin Tice is meeting with national security adviser Jake Sullivan Friday, a person familiar with the meeting told CBS News. Debra Tice claims President Biden has so far been unwilling to meet with her.
Austin Tice, now 40, was abducted in Syria in 2012. The freelance journalist's parents have pleaded with the Biden administration and previous administrations to take action and initiate diplomatic talks to bring their son home. Tice's current whereabouts and status remain unclear, nine years after a video emerged showing him bound and blindfolded.
"As is our standard practice, we decline to share specific details about any potential meetings or specific cases, out of respect for the families and to preserve the confidentiality," a senior administration official told CBS News. "Our team will remain in regular contact with the families. We are grateful for their partnership and feedback. We will continue to work to ensure we are communicating and sharing information in a way useful to families."
Tice, who worked for outlets including McClatchy, The Washington Post and CBS News, was kidnapped while covering the Syrian civil war on August 14, 2012.
In October 2020,that then-President Trump had sent two administration officials to Syria last summer to try to negotiate Tice's release. It was part of what one U.S. diplomat described as a concerted effort to bring Tice back as a part of an "October surprise" before the election. But the visit did not result in his release. At the time, Syrian officials told CBS News that the Syrian government said no discussion could take place about U.S. hostages as long as American military forces remained in Syria.