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Trump says Brittney Griner’s prisoner swap for Viktor Bout doesn’t seem like a ‘good swap’

Trump says Brittney Griner’s prisoner swap for Viktor Bout doesn’t seem like a ‘good swap’


Former President Donald Trump has suggested that the proposed Russia-US prisoner swap that would return jailed WNBA star Brittney Griner in exchange for a Russian arms dealer “does not appear to be a very good exchange”.

“She knew you weren’t going there loaded with drugs, and she admitted that,” Trump told The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show. “I guess she admitted it without too much force because that’s what it is, and that sure doesn’t sound like a very good trade, does it? He’s absolutely one of the worst in the world, and he’s going to be released because a potentially spoiled person walks into Russia high on drugs.

Trump was referring to reports that the United States was trying to secure the release of Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, known as the “dealer of the death” because of its arms sales that have fueled deadly conflicts around the world.

“She came in there loaded with drugs in hostile territory where they are very vigilant on drugs,” Trump added. “They don’t like drugs. And she got caught. And now they were supposed to get her out and she’s making, you know, a lot of money I guess. Were 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.

Former President Donald Trump has said the proposed Brittney Griner swap deal for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout would not be “a good fit”. Getty Images

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier this week that while the Kremlin and US officials have engaged in talks, “there has not yet been a concrete result.”

“We start from the principle that the interests of both parties must be taken into account during the negotiations,” she said.

Griner, a WNBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, was arrested in Russia in February after customs officers found “vapes” containing hash oil in her luggage at an airport near Moscow.

Griner, who faces a potential prison sentence of 10 years, pleaded guilty earlier this month in a decision that his legal team said was made to “take full responsibility for his actions”.

Brittney Griner is escorted to court in Khimki, near Moscow, Russia July 27, 2022. REUTERS

Former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also suggested earlier this week that the proposed prisoner swap was not a good idea.

“He’s a bad guy. He’s a guy who wanted to kill Americans. He poses a real risk to the United States. There’s a real reason the Russians want to take him home. To offer a trade like that this is a dangerous precedent,” Pompeo told America’s Newsroom.

“This is not a good trade, not the right way to go, and it will probably lead to more,” Pompeo added.

Russian officials have long pushed for the release of Bout, who is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States after being convicted in 2011 of conspiracy to kill Americans, conspiracy to deliver anti-aircraft missiles and aid to a terrorist organization.

Viktor Bout was convicted in 2011 of conspiracy to kill Americans, but Russian officials pushed for his

He was arrested in 2008 during an undercover operation at a luxury hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, where he met Drug Enforcement Administration informants posing as officials of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, who have been classified by US authorities as a drug trafficker. terrorist group.

Prosecutors said Bout was prepared to supply the group for $20 million with “a jaw-dropping arsenal of weapons, including hundreds of surface-to-air missiles, machine guns and sniper rifles, 10 million rounds of ammunition and five tons of plastic explosives”.




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