Brittney Griner trade news live: WNBA star arrives at San Antonio army hospital in US after being released by Russia in exchange for Viktor Bout

Brittney Griner has returned to the United States after spending 294 days in a Russian prison

Brittney Griner returned to US soil for the first time in 10 months after being released from Russian custody in a prisoner swap with “Death Merchant” Victor Booth.

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

On Thursday, after weeks of talks between Washington and Moscow, Ms. Greener and Mr. Booth were pictured exchanging blows on a runway in the United Arab Emirates.

The deal did not include Paul Whelan, a U.S. Marine who has been imprisoned in Russia for the past four years. Mr Whelan told CNN he was “deeply disappointed” to learn he was not involved in the prisoner swap, adding: “I don’t know why I’m still sitting here.”

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

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Britney Griner’s family thanked President Joe Biden for her release from Russian custody

Britney Griner’s family released a statement thanking President Joe Biden for her release from Russian custody.

“We want to thank President Biden and his administration from the bottom of our hearts for their tireless work to bring Britney home,” it said.

“We also want to give a special thanks to Governor Richardson and Mickey Bergman of the Richardson Center for their work and constant communication with us.”

The family thanked Paul Whelan and his family for their support as they hope he too will be released soon.

“We sincerely thank you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers, including Paul and the Whelan family, who have supported Brittney and our family during this heartbreaking time. We pray for Paul and for the speedy and safe return of all Americans wrongfully imprisoned,” the statement said.

“We ask that you respect our privacy as we continue to heal. The Greener Family”

Rachel SharpDecember 9, 2022, 10:00 p.m

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Russian state media called the prisoner swap a “huge victory” for the US

“I must say that today we won a huge victory. “I don’t even think we’ve fully realized how big it is,” Russian state media personality Vladimir Soloviev said on his daily show. “The special services of Russia together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs carried out an amazing operation and brought back to the homeland a person who has never confessed his guilt, was wrongly tried and slandered, but did not betray his homeland.”

Greig Graziosi9 December 2022 21:31

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Victor Bout, a Russian spy who infiltrated US conservative groups, is bragging about his release

Marina Butina, a Russian spy who was captured and later released by US agents, bragged on social media about the release of “Dealer of Death” arms dealer Victor Bout in exchange for the release of former WNBA star Brittney Griner.

“The fact that Russia is pushing to trade (Victor) Booth, which America has not really wanted to give for years, now Godfather, we made them “an offer they couldn’t refuse,” Ms. Butina said Thursday on the Telegram messaging app. – This is a position of strength, comrades.

Ms. Butina joined right-wing groups, including the National Rifle Association, for years until she was caught and imprisoned. He was released from prison by the Trump administration in 2019 and returned to Moscow. He is now a politician.

Greig GraziosiDecember 9, 2022, 9:00 p.m

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Congressman Troy Nels says Trump will bring Paul Whelan home “in a week” despite ex-president’s failure to release

Congressman Troy Nehles told Newsmax that former President Donald Trump will take Paul Whelan home “in a week,” despite the former president’s failure to secure his release while in office.

Speaking on Newsmax, Mr. Nehls said Joe Biden should call Mr. Trump and ask him to negotiate for Whelan’s release.

“You want to take Paul Whelan home, Joe Biden, why don’t you call Donald Trump. Donald Trump would negotiate; he would take Paul Whelan home and he would have him home within a week,” the congressman said.

Greig Graziosi9 December 2022 20:45

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Officials are still working to free Paul Whelan, according to the US Homeland Security Secretary

US National Security Representative John Kirby told reporters on Friday that officials were continuing to work on the release of Paul Whelan and an American arrested in Russia in 2018 on espionage charges.

Mr. Whelan became the subject of discussion following the release of former WNBA star Brittney Griner from Russian detention. Mainly conservative critics of the prisoner swap that freed Griner and notorious arms dealer Victor Booth were upset that Mr. Whelan was not included in the deal.

“We are actively working [Moscow] channels will try to bring Paul home,” Mr Kirby told reporters.

White House officials said negotiators tried to include Mr. Whelan in the exchange, but Moscow rejected the offer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that a prisoner swap was “possible”, but Mr Kirby said “deeds, not words” were important.

“We’ve recorded what Mr. Putin said, so let’s see what he’s actually doing,” Mr. Kirby said.

Greig Graziosi9 December 2022 20:20

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White House press secretary Brittney Griner said she has been reunited with her husband and that she appears to be in good health

Former WNBA star Brittney Griner has reunited with her wife, Sherrell, according to White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre.

Griner returned to the U.S. on Friday after being released from Russian custody thanks to a prisoner swap negotiated with U.S. officials. International arms dealer Victor Booth released from US custody on trade charges.

Ms Jean-Pierre said Griner was in “very good spirits” after his return and “seemed to be in good health”.

Greig Graziosi9 December 2022 19:52

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Brittney Griner cut her hair when she was imprisoned in Russia because her hair was cold

Former WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was released from Russian custody this week thanks to a US-Russia prisoner swap deal, reportedly cut her hair short while in prison because of a cold on her head.

This was reported by Maria Blagovolina, one of Griner’s lawyers ESPN Griner cut his hair two weeks ago after it started freezing due to the cold Russian winter.

“It’s very cold here and every time she washes her hair she gets colder and colder,” Ms Blagovolina said. “He should have waited until New Years.”

Greig Graziosi9 December 2022 19:31

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The Russians did not conduct “good faith” negotiations for Paul Whelan, a White House spokesman said

White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre told reporters on Friday that Russia is not ready to enter into “good faith” talks to free American Paul Whelan, who has been imprisoned in the country since 2018. In a prisoner swap deal, they made a deal to release former WNBA star Brittney Griner, but a deal was not reached.

“In the last week or two, we’ve seen the Russians willing to release Brittney Griner for Mr. Booth. This is what was presented to us. They were not prepared to negotiate in good faith for Paul Whelan.

Greig Graziosi9 December 2022 19:03

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Russia offers Paul Whelan as part of Britney Griner trade, but asks for life in prison for killing spy

U.S. officials who spoke to CNN said Russia offered Paul Whelan as part of a prisoner swap deal that freed former WNBA star Brittney Griner, but only after the release of Russian spy “Merchant Death” Viktor Bout, who was sentenced to life in prison for murder in Germany.

The United States has asked Germany for the possibility of releasing Vadim Krasikov, a Russian spy convicted of murder. The US failed to negotiate the release of the Russian. But officials said the U.S. had offered other detained Russians in an effort to free Whelan, but Russia rejected those offers.

Greig Graziosi9 December 2022 18:46

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Tucker Carlson Unfoundedly Claims Biden Chosen to Save Griner Over Paul Whelan Because of Personal Politics

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has cleared a report published by NBC News without evidence, claiming that Russia originally suggested that the United States could release Brittney Griner or Paul Whelan. He said the network did it at the behest of the Biden administration, without further evidence.

“Why did they make that choice? You have to know, Whalen is a Trump voter and he made the mistake of saying that on social media, and he’s paying the price now,” Carlson said. “Not Brittany Greener. Her politics are completely different.”

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

Russia, which has no incentive to protect Joe Biden’s image, has not released any statement contradicting the White House’s assertion that Mr. Whelan was never at the prisoner exchange table.

Greig Graziosi9 December 2022 17:57

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