Team Biden would obviously like you to think that it’s in control, that America is still pre-eminent, and that his administration can get what it wants from America’s competitors and enemies. Hence Biden’s “nobody f***s with a Biden” comment; he wants to project and portray strength in the Oval Office.
But the Brittney Griner situation is showing that to be false, as Russia snagged and locked up the America-bashing, hashish oil smuggling WNBA “star” and Team Biden has so far proven powerless in its attempts to get her back, even after it allegedly offered a notorious arms dealer in exchange for her.
And that impotence is proving more and more humiliating for Team Brandon as the Russians ratchet things up, going from just convicting her for nine years and fining her a million rubles to sending her to a forced labor camp.
Because of the recent labor camp announcement, Griner is back in the news and so a reporter asked National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about the situation during a recent press briefing, asking:
Jake, thanks so much for doing the briefing. I want to ask you about Brittney Griner and then President Putin more broadly. But she’s been moved to a penal colony and apparently hasn’t been seen for six days. What can you tell us about her condition? When is the last time that U.S. officials had any kind of update on her condition?
And what is your level of optimism that now that we are past the midterms, President Putin will be more potentially serious about negotiating her release?
Sullivan did his best to respond, but what his answer showed is that America is impotent and, though Team Biden wants Griner released and has been working to get her released, the Russians aren’t playing along.
In his words:
So I have to protect the confidentiality of our dealings with her family and some of our consular dealings with Russian officials. But I will tell you, on a daily basis, our embassy in Moscow is focused on ensuring that Brit- — they are on top of Brittney Griner’s condition, location, and how the Russian government is treating her.
She is being held unjustly. She should be released immediately. We have made that clear to our Russian counterparts. And we have put forward a series of proposals over the last several months for how we could resolve her case, as well as the case of Paul Whelan, to bring them both home. So far, the Russians have not shown a willingness to engage in — in that back-and-forth to produce a result.
As President Biden said yesterday, we are hopeful that we can renew that dialogue and find a way to get these cases resolved and to get both Brittney and Paul home.
I can’t handicap it. I can’t give you any predictions. All I can tell you is President Biden is personally engaged on this. I am personally engaged on this. We are dealing with the Russians at very senior levels, and our diplomats on the ground are working overtime to ensure that they are staying in close touch with their Russian counterparts on her case.
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