President Donald Trump recently shared his thoughts on the reported prisoner trade between the United States and Russia that would see Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan exchanged for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout.
The New York Times reported at the end of July, “The Biden administration has offered to free the imprisoned Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout to secure the release of Brittney Griner and Paul N. Whelan, two Americans imprisoned in Russia who the State Department says were wrongfully detained, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.”
CNN further noted, “After months of internal debate, the Biden administration has offered to exchange Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms trafficker serving a 25-year US prison sentence, as part of a potential deal to secure the release of two Americans held by Russia, Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, according to people briefed on the matter.”
The Biden administration did not confirm the reports, but Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken did confirm the country did send Russia a “substantial proposal” regarding the release of Whelan and Griner.
Blinken addressed the press saying, “In the coming days, I expect to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov for the first time since the war began. I plan to raise an issue that’s a top priority for us: the release of Americans Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, who have been wrongfully detained and must be allowed to come home.”
“We put a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago to facilitate their release,” he added. “Our governments have communicated repeatedly and directly on that proposal. And I’ll use the conversation to follow up personally and, I hope, move us toward a resolution.”
President Trump reacted to this reported proposal on The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show.
He said, “[Griner] went in there loaded up with drugs into a hostile territory, where they are very vigilant about drugs. They don’t like drugs. And she got caught. And now we’re supposed to get her out.”
“And she makes, you know, a lot of money, I guess. But we’re supposed to get her out for an absolute killer and one of the biggest arms dealers in the world, killed many Americans, killed many people,” President Trump continued. “And he’s going to get a free card and we’re going to get her.”
“She knew you don’t go in there loaded up with drugs and she admitted. I assume she admitted it without too much force because it is what it is,” President Trump elaborated.
He then declared, “And 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.”
What do you make of President Trump’s reaction to this alleged trade of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan for Viktor Bout?