Donald Trump slammed the Biden administration over a proposal to swap a Russian arms dealer known as the “Merchant of Death” in exchange for the release of “spoiled” WNBA basketball player Brittney Griner.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed the trade offer involving Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, in exchange for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer convicted in 2011 for conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and officials, delivery of anti-aircraft missiles, and providing aid to a terrorist organization.
Trump, speaking with conservative radio personalities Clay Travis and Buck Sexton, suggested trading such a dangerous person for someone “loaded up with drugs” was not a good idea.
In fact, he seemed to suggest intervening on Griner’s behalf wasn’t a worthy proposal, period.
“She went in there loaded up with drugs into a hostile territory where they’re very vigilant about drugs. They don’t like drugs. And she got caught,” he complained. “And now we’re supposed to get her out — and she makes, you know, a lot of money, I guess.”
Trump called WNBA star Brittney Griner, “spoiled,” and implied he wouldn’t have made the deal to get her out of prison in Russia. pic.twitter.com/NYcT5e2Kxd
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) July 31, 2022
Trump Pans Effort to Swap Britney Griner For Arms Dealer
While the Britney Griner swap proposed by the Biden administration is about as lopsided an effort as you’d expect from a feeble and inept government, many feel the United States should be trying to return the WNBA star home despite her past anti-American comments.
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She pled guilty to drug charges after Russian authorities found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage.
The trade, in Trump’s view, is lopsided.
“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,” he lamented. “And he’s gonna get a free card and we’re gonna get her.”
“He’s absolutely one of the worst in the world, and he’s gonna be given his freedom because a potentially spoiled person goes into Russia loaded up with drugs,” added Trump.
— Newsmax (@newsmax) July 31, 2022
Protested the National Anthem
The proposed swap of the “Merchant of Death” for Brittney Griner is, without a doubt, a substantial concession on the part of the Biden administration.
Bout was convicted of conspiracy to kill Americans while Griner had cannabis oil in her luggage. Hardly an even exchange.
Still, she is relying on the efforts of a country she has denigrated in the past to secure her release, having walked off the court before the playing of the national anthem.
After pleading guilty to drug charges in a Russian court, Griner faces a 10-year prison sentence. She insists she did not intend to break the law and only had the cannabis oil on her because she packed in a hurry.
Jodi Vittori, a former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and current professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, has echoed concerns about the proposed Brittney Griner swap.
“Trading American hostages for a notorious Russian arms trafficker with the ominous moniker of the Merchant of Death sends the world mixed messages at a time when the United States is striving to arm Ukraine as it fights for its life and democracy against Russia,” she said.
One has to wonder what the media reaction would be right now if Trump had tried to exchange a Russian arms dealer for somebody languishing in a Russian prison.
Especially considering everything this administration has done to support Ukraine in their defensive war against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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