Brittney Griner trade news live: WNBA star arrives at San Antonio army hospital


Brittney Griner back on US soil after spending 294 days in Russian prison

Brittney Griner has landed back on US soil for the first time in 10 months after she was released from Russian custody in a prisoner swap with “Merchant of Death” Viktor Bout.

The WNBA star arrived at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio early on Friday morning, where she will be examined and receive any necessary medical treatment.

Footage showed Ms Griner and Bout being exchanged on the tarmac of a runway in the UAE on Thursday, following weeks of negotiations between Washington and Moscow.

The deal failed to include US Marine Paul Whelan who has been detained in Russia for the last four years. Mr Whelan told CNN he was “greatly disappointed” to learn he was not part of the prisoner swap, saying: “I don’t understand why I’m still sitting here.”

President Joe Biden insisted on Thursday that “we’ve not forgotten about Paul Whelan” and vowed to “never give up” securing his release, as the swap divided opinion across the country. The White House was also forced to deny claims made by Saudi Arabia and the UAE that MBS negotiated the deal.

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Russians did not negotiate ‘in good faith’ for Paul Whelan, White House press secretary says

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Friday that Russia was not willing to engage in “good faith” negotiations to free Paul Whelan, an American man who has been imprisoned in the country since 2018. US officials attempted to include Mr Whelan in a prisoner swap deal they made to free former WNBA star Brittney Griner, but a deal could not be reached.

“In the past week or two, we saw that the Russians were willing to release Brittney Griner for Mr Bout. That’s what was presented to us. They were not willing to negotiate in good faith for Paul Whelan.”

Graig Graziosi9 December 2022 19:03

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Russia offered up Paul Whelan as part of Brittney Griner trade, but asked for spy serving life sentence for murder

US officials speaking with CNN told the outlet that Russia did offer Paul Whelan as part of the prisoner swap deal that freed former WNBA star Brittney Griner, but only if a Russian spy serving a life sentence in Germany for murder was released along with the “Merchant of Death” Viktor Bout.

The US inquired with Germany about potentially releasing Vadim Krasikov, the Russian spy who was convicted for murder. The US was unable to negotiate for the Russian’s release. However, according to officials, the US did offer up other imprisoned Russians in an effort to free Mr Whelan, but those offers were rejected by Russia.

Graig Graziosi9 December 2022 18:46

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Tucker Carlson makes baseless claim that Biden chose to rescue Griner and not Paul Whelan due to identity politics

During a broadcast on Fox News, host Tucker Carlson claimed, without evidence, that NBC News scrubbed a report it released that initially said Russia had given the US the option to release either Brittney Griner or Paul Whelan. He claims the network did this at the behest of the Biden administration, again without a shred of evidence.

“Why did they make that choice? You should know that Whalen is a Trump voter and he made the mistake of saying so on social media, and he’s paying the price for that now,” Carlson said. “Brittany Griner is not. She has very different politics.”

According to Carlson, Griner was chosen because Mr Whelan is a Trump voter and Griner is Black, a woman, and a lesbian.

Russia — which has no incentive to protect Joe Biden’s image — has not issued any statement undermining the White House’s claim that Mr Whelan was never on the table for a possible prisoner swap.

Graig Graziosi9 December 2022 17:57

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Steph Curry’s full Brittney Griner message during SI Sportsperson of the Year awards

NBA star Steph Curry won Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year award during a ceremony on Thursday, and during his acceptance speech addressed the release of former WNBA star Brittney Griner.

Mr Curry was a major advocate for Griner while she was in prison.

“We are glad she’s home, we’re glad she’s reunited with her family,” Mr Curry said. “It’s a constant reminder for everybody continuing to use their platforms to speak on issues that are meaningful and can move the needle. Thank you to President Biden’s administration for being a part of that fight. But, it’s also a reminder that we all need to stay engaged in the fight to protect American citizens at home and abroad who are wrongfully detained, and we can continue to be engaged in that fight. BG, we…



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