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The Biden administration was excited Thursday to announce that it had reached a deal with Russia to free WNBA basketball player Brittney Griner from a Russian jail, but critics blasted Biden for giving up a dangerous Russian arms dealer in exchange for a mere basketball player, and leaving a U.S. Marine languishing in a Russian jail on top of it.

Griner was arrested in February in a Moscow airport and charged with drug trafficking for having cannabis-infused vape cartridges in her luggage as she was on her way out of the country. By August she was convicted of the charges and sentenced to 9-1/2 years in a Russian prison.

A month ago, she was moved to a harsh Russian forced labor camp where Russian authorities expected her to serve the rest of her nine-years in prison.

Griner is also a major anti-American who has protested against the country for years.

In July of 2020, Griner told the sports media, “I honestly feel we should not play the national anthem during our season. I think we should take that much of a stand.”

Even if the league decided to play the anthem, Griner said she was going to stand with others against the country anyway.

“I’m going to protest regardless. I’m not going to be out there for the national anthem,” she said. “If the league continues to want to play it, that’s fine. It will be all season long, I’ll not be out there. I feel like more are going to probably do the same thing. I can only speak for myself.”

The Biden administration claimed throughout this year that it was making overtures to the Russians and trying to get Griner free from her sentence. Finally, after months of inaction, a deal was struck.

But that deal is spurring much criticism since the Russians got a dangerous arms dealer back while all America got was a basketball player. Worse, the prisoner swap notably left behind Paul Whelan, an American and former Marine jailed in Russia in 2018 under purported “espionage” charges. Whelan was sentenced to 16 years.

Twitter exploded with condemnation of the Biden administration for this lopsided prisoner exchange and for leaving a Marine behind while saving a mere basketball player:

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at:, or Truth Social @WarnerToddHuston


Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston has been writing editorials and news since 2001 but started his writing career penning articles about U.S. history back in the early 1990s. Huston has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and several local Chicago News programs to discuss the issues of the day. Additionally, he is a regular guest on radio programs from coast to coast. Huston has also been a Breitbart News contributor since 2009. Warner works out of the Chicago area, a place he calls a "target rich environment" for political news.


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