- Donald Trump criticized a proposed deal to swap WNBA player Brittney Griner for a Russian arms dealer.
- Trump claimed Griner is a “potentially spoiled person” who entered Russia “loaded up with drugs.”
The Biden administration said the return of Griner and other detainees is their “highest priority.”
Former President Donald Trump criticized a proposed deal to swap WNBA player Brittney Griner for a Russian arms dealer, calling Griner a “potentially spoiled person.”
The Biden administration has proposed trading Griner and detained former marine Paul Whelan for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence.
Trump commented on Griner and the proposed deal during an interview on a radio show called “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.”
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, has been detained in Russia since she was arrested in February (shortly before the Russian invasion of Ukraine) when authorities said they found cannabis oil in her luggage at an airport outside of Moscow. Her lawyers said she had a prescription for medical marijuana for pain. She pled guilty to drug-smuggling charges in what experts called a “show trial” with a “predetermined” outcome.
Among other things, Bout was accused of selling weapons to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the New York Times reported.
“He’s going to get a free card, and we’re gonna get her,” Trump said. “She knew you don’t go in there loaded up with drugs, and she admitted it. I assume she admitted it without too much force because it is what it is.”
The former president added: “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.”
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