Donald Trump criticized a proposed deal to trade WNBA player Brittney Griner for a Russian arms dealer.
Trump claimed Griner is a “potentially spoiled person” who entered Russia “loaded with drugs”.
The Biden administration said the return of Griner and other detainees is their “top priority”.
Former President Donald Trump criticized a proposed deal to trade WNBA player Brittney Griner for a Russian arms dealer, calling Griner a “potentially spoiled person”.
The Biden administration has proposed to trade Griner and detain former Marine Paul Whelan for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year prison term.
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 there laden with drugs to a hostile area where they are very vigilant about drugs. They don’t like drugs,” Trump said. “And she was caught. And now we have to take her out – and she makes, you know, a lot of money, I think – and we have to get her out for an absolute killer and one of the largest 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 Moscow. Her lawyers said she had a prescription for medical marijuana for pain. She pleaded guilty to drug smuggling in what experts called a “show trial” with a “predetermined” outcome.
Bout was accused of selling weapons to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the New York Times reported.
“He gets a free card and we get her,” Trump said. “She knew you weren’t going in there full of drugs, and she admitted it. I assume she admitted it without too much violence, because it is what it is.’
The former president added: “It certainly doesn’t seem like a very good trade, does it? He is definitely one of the worst in the world, and he will get his freedom because a potentially spoiled person enters Russia laden with drugs.”
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