President Trump schooled Joe Biden on the art of the deal in a scathing Truth Social post on Thursday, scorching the current administration for swapping embattled American WNBA player Brittney Griner for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer also known as the “Merchant of Death.”
“What kind of a deal is it to swap Brittney Griner, a basketball player who openly hates our Country, for the man known as ‘The Merchant of Death,’ who is one of the biggest arms dealers anywhere in the World, and responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and horrific injuries,” Trump wrote, blasting Biden’s negotiations.
Per Fox News, Viktor Bout has been serving time in an American prison after being convicted in 2011 of conspiring to kill U.S. citizens. Griner, on the other hand, was detained by Russian authorities in February 2022, and in August, she was found guilty on drug charges and sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison, according to Newsweek.
“Why wasn’t former Marine Paul Whelan included in this totally one-sided transaction?” Trump continued. “He would have been let out for the asking. What a ‘stupid’ and unpatriotic embarrassment for the USA!!!”
Paul Whelan has been in Russian custody since 2018, having previously been sentenced to 16 years in prison for espionage charges via Fox News. Biden handed over the “Merchant of Death” for Griner and left Whelan in Russia.
This past summer, Trump commented on “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show” that the potential trade of Griner for Viktor Bout wouldn’t be a good move. He remarked, “It certainly doesn’t seem like a very good trade, does it? He’s an absolute– one of the worst in the world, and he’s going to be given his freedom because a potentially spoiled person goes into Russia loaded up with drugs,”
Griner notoriously called for the WNBA to stop playing the National Anthem before the opening of each game. Via the Daily Wire, Griner told AZ Central, “I honestly feel we should not play the National Anthem during our season. I think we should take that much of a stand.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed on Thursday that Biden “will never stop working to secure Paul Whelan’s release.”