Biden Admin Trades ‘Merchant Of Death’ Arms Dealer To Russia For WNBA Player Brittney Griner In 1-For-1 Deal

Written by K. Walker on December 8, 2022


The Biden admin called the plan to bring Americans being held in Russia “Operation Relentless.” What an inappropriate name.

If this is an example of the Biden administration’s ability to negotiate, the United States is in very, very bad shape.

Brittney Griner, the two-time Gold medalist and WNBA star who has been held for months imprisoned in Russian on drug charges was released on Thursday after the Biden admin negotiated a 1-for-1 prisoner swap for international arms dealer Viktor Bout, who has been called the “Merchant of Death” and was serving a 25-year sentence in a federal prison for conspiring to kill U.S. citizens.

CBS News was first to report the swap, which took place in the United Arab Emirates, after it was confirmed by a U.S. official. The one-for-one exchange agreement negotiated with Moscow in recent weeks was given final approval by Mr. Biden within just the last week, according to sources familiar with the deal.
Five former U.S. officials told CBS News the agreement had been reached as of last Thursday.
A White House official said the president spoke to Griner by phone from the Oval Office, where he was joined by Griner’s wife Cherelle, Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Per standard procedure for freed U.S. prisoners, Griner was expected to quickly undergo a medical evaluation.
Source: CBS News

CBS News White House Correspondent Steve Portnoy posted a thread about the deal on Twitter.

It’s remarkable that retired Marine Paul Whelan, who is about to hit the 4-year mark in a Russian prison for alleged espionage, was not included in the prisoner swap.

This is the second time an American has been released from a Russian prison and Whelan wasn’t included in the deal.

The lop-sided prisoner exchange is typical of this administration that can seemingly take any win and turn it into a loss with their utter incompetence.

The United States of America should be setting the terms, not caving to anyone else’s demands.

The President’s Twitter account was celebrating the news this morning.

The President spoke to the press about the Griner’s release.

As wonderful as it is that an American that was being treated unjustly in a Russian prison has been released — there’s a lot of criticism of the deal the Biden admin agreed to.

They just released a notorious arms dealer for a WNBA player who brought (admittedly a tiny amount) of cannabis oil into Russia. There’s no way that that decision could bite the world in the ass, could it?

CBS’s 60 Minutes posted a 2010 clip of who Viktor Bout is.

Welp. That looks like a problem.

Benny Johnson of Newsmax then explained who Paul Whelan, the retired Marine left behind by the Biden admin, is.

Twitter users had a lot of thoughts…

Leaving people behind? So on-brand for this administration.

The poor negotiation is so bad, it makes one wonder if it’s strictly incompetence or if it’s deliberate.

Paul Whelan’s brother, David, issued a statement indicating that he was happy for Griner and her family, but says it is a “catastrophe” that Paul wasn’t also released.

“I am so glad that Brittney Griner is on her way home,” said David Whelan adding,”The Biden Administration made the right decision to bring Ms. Griner home, and to make the deal that was possible, rather than waiting for one that wasn’t going to happen.”

David Whelan also appeared on CNN this morning:

The Biden admin is trying to insist that there was no choice to bring back Paul Whelan, but just four days ago, Secretary Blinken was on “Face The Nation” and told host Margaret Brennan that they were trying to bring both Americans home.

When Brennan pressed him on the reports in Russian media that the Russians wanted a 1-for-1 deal and naming Viktor Bout, Blinken dismissed her question with a chuckle saying, “Russian media reports a lot every day that I wouldn’t necessarily take at face value.”

But it looks like Russian media was correct in this particular instance, doesn’t it?

The statement by David Whelan is heartbreaking — while he says that the family is happy for Griner and her family, Paul is still stuck in Russia indefinietly.

Unfortunately for Paul Whelan, he isn’t a black lesbian in a gay marriage who plays for a women’s professional sports league, he was just a boring ol’ Marine who served his country.

Just because Whelan has been in a Russian clink since 2018, and she’s only been there for 10 months… his release was not a priority for the Biden admin that prioritizes minority status above all else.

We’re being led by absolute incompetence.

Check out Doug’s latest book, The Art of Joe: The Political Brilliance of President Biden. If you have left-leaning family members, workmates, or classmates, buy several copies and place them in common areas. Make sure you have your video camera ready for when they pick it up and thumb through it because they will be triggered which will make for a great viral video to share across social media. Also, buy a couple for the GOP NeverTrumpers that you know. Finally, both the book’s cover and the epilogue, Notable Quotable Joe are worth the price of admission. We’ve included before and after Biden on Afghanistan. Jen Psaki will no likey this book, but you will. BTW, the book is 95% bereft of any content. Just like Biden’s head.

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker