HomeSportsRussian State Television Clowns US for Prisoner Swap Involving Brittney Griner

Russian State Television Clowns US for Prisoner Swap Involving Brittney Griner

by Nick Geddes
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(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

WNBA star Brittney Griner returned to the United States Friday after a 10-month stay in Russian detainment on drug charges.

Griner, who was detained in February, spent 294 days in Russia before President Joe Biden finalized a prisoner swap with Russia Thursday. In exchange for Griner, the U.S. sent convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout (The Merchant of Death) back to Russia. Bout was in the middle of serving a 25-year prison sentence. Charges include of conspiring to kill Americans, acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles and provide material support to a terrorist organization.

Russian state television called the swap a massive victory for Russia given who the U.S. left behind. Paul Whelan, a former Marine detained in Russia since 2018, did not find himself a part of the swap. A moderator on the program outlined three things going against Whelan in a potential prisoner exchange.

“His first problem is that he is white,” the moderator said, according to a translation obtained by Fox News Digital. “His second problem is he is a man. His third problem: He is a heterosexual. This is not something that can be forgiven today. It’s just a catastrophe. Yes, here Griner beats him in every aspect.”

US Vows to Bring Paul Whelan Home Following Return of Brittney Griner

Following Griner’s release, Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed those wondering why Whelan wasn’t a part of the exchange.

“While we celebrate Brittney’s release, Paul Whelan and his family continue to suffer needlessly,” Blinken said. “Despite our ceaseless efforts, the Russian government has not yet been willing to bring a long overdue end to his wrongful detention. I wholeheartedly wish we could have brought Paul home today on the same plane with Brittney. Nevertheless, we will not relent in our efforts to bring Paul and all other U.S. nationals held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad home to their loved ones where they belong.”

The Whelan family, meanwhile, said the Biden Administration made the “right decision” in bringing Griner home.

“There is no greater success than for a wrongful detainee to be freed & for them to go home,” the family said in a statement. “The Biden Admin made the right decision to bring Ms. Griner home, & to make the deal that was possible, rather than waiting for one that wasn’t going to.”

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