WNBA player Brittney Griner gained a lot of attention after she was arrested in Russia after allegedly being caught with hashish oil in her luggage at the airport in Moscow. She has since pleaded guilty to that offense. The Biden administration has vowed to get her home, saying it is “exhausting all efforts.”
The Biden administration is considering a prisoner exchange with Russia, where Brittney Griner and ex-Marine Paul Whelan would be traded for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Donald Trump commented on Griner and the possible prisoner swap on the radio show The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show. “She went in there loaded up with drugs into a hostile territory where they’re very vigilant about drugs. They don’t like drugs,” Trump said. “And she got caught. And now we’re supposed to get her out – and she makes, you know, a lot of money, I guess – and we’re supposed to get her out for an absolute killer and one of the biggest arms dealers in the world,” Trump said.
Bout was accused of selling weapons to Al Qaeda and the Taliban reports the New York Times. Griner was accused of what would at most be considered a misdemeanor in the United States.
“He’s going to get a free card, and we’re gonna get her,” Trump said. “It certainly doesn’t seem like a very good trade, does it? He’s an absolute– one of the worst in the world, and he’s going to be given his freedom because a potentially spoiled person goes into Russia loaded up with drugs.”
As of Friday, the Russians had not agreed on the trade.
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This is a really hard one. Brittney Griner is being held in Russia, likely as a political prisoner. Even if she did have hash in her luggage, it seems that Putin is wanting to use her as a pawn. Of course, we don’t want Americans held wrongfully in Russia. At the same time, to release such a dangerous arms dealer in exchange for Brittney Griner isn’t proportionate. At a minimum, they must agree to send Paul Whelan home, too. Do you think Griner is spoiled like Trump says?