Donald Trump, the former 45th president of the United States, has sounded off on Brittney Griner’s release and move back to the U.S.
Last week, president Joe Biden announced that he had reached a prisoner swap agreement with Russian officials. Griner was brought back to the United States in exchange for the release of arms dealer and weapons smuggler Viktor Bout, who spent more than 14 years in prison.
In a recent post on his social media platform, Truth Social, Trump criticized the Griner-Bout prisoner swap. The 76-year-old Trump claimed that he rejected an offer from Russia to swap Bout for Paul ex-Marine Whelan.
“I turned down a deal with Russia for a one on one swap of the so-called Merchant of Death for Paul Whelan.
“I wouldn’t have made the deal for a hundred people in exchange for someone that has killed untold numbers of people with his arms deals…The deal for Griner is crazy and bad. The taking wouldn’t have even happened during my Administration, but if it did, I would have gotten her out, fast!”
Trump was the president of the United States from 2017 to 2021, succeeding Barack Obama following his eight-year term in office. Trump has announced his plans to run again in the 2024 election.
Griner was arrested at the Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow back in February for carrying less than a gram of hashish oil (the substance is illegal in Russia). In August, the WNBA legend was convicted and given a nine-year prison sentence.
Griner returned home last week and had an emotional reunion with her wife, Cherelle. Griner will now be able to return to the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury after missing out on the entire 2022 season.
The 32-year-old Griner was drafted first overall by Phoenix in the 2013 WNBA draft. She has developed into one of the greatest basketball players ever, earning eight All-Star nods and two Defensive Player of the Year Awards. The eight-time blocks leader and two-time league scoring champion led the Mercury to a 2014 WNBA championship.
Griner and the Mercury reached the finals in 2021 but fell to the Chicago Sky in four games. Phoenix struggled without Griner throughout the 2022 season, missing the playoffs with a 15-21 record.