Former President Donald Trump suggested the US should not swap detained WNBA star Brittney Griner for a Russian arms dealer.
Trump made the statement during an interview on the Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show. He insinuated that he would not swap “spoiled” Griner for the “Merchant of Death” Viktor Bout because it “doesn’t seem like a very good trade.”
Griner was detained at a Moscow airport on February 17 after officials discovered vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. She pleaded guilty in July.
“She knew you don’t go in there loaded up with drugs, and she admitted it,” Trump said. “I assume she admitted it without too much force because it is what it is, and it 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.”
Viktor Bout was accused of conspiracy to kill Americans. He was convicted in New York in 2012 and sentenced to 25 years in a federal prison.
Trump continued: “She went in there loaded up with drugs into a hostile territory where they’re very vigilant about drugs. 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. We’re supposed to get her out for an absolute killer and one of the biggest arms dealers in the world. Killed many Americans. Killed many people.”
In 2017, Trump asked China’s president to help UCLA men’s basketball player LiAngelo Ball and two other players who were caught stealing from a Louis Vuitton store.
After they returned to the US, the three athletes held a press conference where Ball thanked Trump for his help.