Responding to the recent news that WNBA player Brittney Griner had been traded for a Russian arms dealer nicknamed “the Merchant of Death”, former President Donald Trump absolutely ripped into President Joe Biden’s decision, saying:
What kind of a deal is it to swap Brittney Griner, a basketball player who openly hates our Country, for the man known as “The Merchant of Death,” who is one of the biggest arms dealers anywhere in the World, and responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and horrific injuries. Why wasn’t former Marine Paul Whelan included in this totally one-sided transaction? He would have been let out for the asking. What a “stupid” and unpatriotic embarrassment for the USA!!!
That was in marked contrast to the statement released by President Joe Biden. He said, in part:
Moments ago, standing together with her wife, Cherelle, in the Oval Office, I spoke with Brittney Griner. She’s safe. She’s on a plane. She’s on her way home.
After months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances, Brittney will soon be back
in the arms of her loved ones, and she should have been there all along.
This is a day we’ve worked toward for a long time. We never stopped pushing for her release.
It took painstaking and intense negotiations, and I want to thank all the hardworking public servants across my administration who worked tirelessly to secure her release.
I also want to thank the UAE for helping us facilitate Brittney’s return, because that’s where she landed.
These past few months have been hell for Brittney and for
Charlee [Cherelle], and her entire family, and all her teammates back home.
People all across the country have learned about Brittney’s story, advocated for her release, stood with her throughout this terrible ordeal. And I know that support meant a lot to her family.
I’m glad to be able to say that Brittney is in good spirits. She — she’s relieved to finally be heading home. And the fact remains that she’s lost months of her life, experienced a needless trauma, and she deserves space, privacy, and time with her loved ones to recover and heal from her time being wrongfully detained.
Brittney is an incomparable athlete, a two-time Olympic Gold medalist for Team USA. She endured mistreatment and a show — at a show trial in Russia with characteristic grit and incredible dignity. She represents the best America — the best about America — just across the board, everything about her.
Another Biden official, during the announcement of Griner’s release, said “As you all know, BG has gone through quite an ordeal. That said, you know, in an extremely upbeat mood, all smiles, and extremely grateful for all the efforts, both USG and outside the government, that has been put on to get her home. Also expressed that she is very much looking forward, obviously, to getting home to her wife Cherelle, her family and friends, and the broader WNBA team.“
"*" indicates required fields