Trump speaks out against US-Russia prisoner swap — Analysis
The former president has argued that trading an arms dealer for “spoiled” basketball star Brittney Griner wouldn’t be a good deal
Former US President Donald Trump has weighed in on his successor’s proposed prisoner swap with Russia, arguing that trading a dangerous arms dealer for “potentially spoiled” basketball star Brittney Griner wouldn’t be a good exchange for Washington.
At issue is last week’s proposal by President Joe Biden’s administration to make a trade for Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan in a deal that would reportedly include Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, who is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence in Illinois. Griner was captured at a Russian air port in February, allegedly for trying to smuggle oil from Russia into her country. Griner plays pro basketball in the WNBA offseason.
“She went in there loaded up with drugs into a hostile territory where they’re very vigilant about drugs,”Trump made these remarks Saturday on radio. “They don’t like drugs, and she got caught. And now we’re supposed to get her out — and she makes, you know, a lot of money, I guess – but we’re supposed to get her out for an absolute killer and one of the biggest arms dealers in the world. [Bout] killed many Americans, killed many people.”
Bout is also known as the ‘Merchant of Death,’The former Soviet weapons were then sold to the public. They were later used in conflicts around the globe, including Afghanistan and Angola. After being extradited to Thailand, he was charged with conspiring against killing Americans.
Trump’s comments were made on the ‘Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show,’Griner was accused of knowing that she had taken drugs into Russia and then confessed to the crime. Griner swaps Bout “certainly doesn’t seem like a very good trade, does it? 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.”
Mike Pompeo served as Secretary of State in Trump’s administration. He also criticized the proposal for a prisoner exchange. The release of Bout would lead to a new generation. “a real risk”In an interview on Fox News, he stated that the US was his target. “To offer a trade like this is a dangerous precedent.”
Moscow made an offer to the Biden government, asking for Vadim Krasikov (a Russian citizen who was last year convicted of the murder in Germany) to be added in the prisoner trading. Russia asked for Krasikov to be released through “an informal backchannel”CNN reports that the FSB security organization used it.