Former President Donald Trump decried on his Truth Social platform the United States' prisoner swap of Russian arms dealer Victor Bout, also known as the "Merchant of Death," for WNBA star Brittney Griner.
"I turned down a deal with Russia for a one on one swap of the so-called Merchant of Death for Paul Whelan," Trump wrote. "I wouldn't have made the deal for a hundred people in exchange for someone that has killed untold numbers of people with his arms deals. I would have gotten Paul out, however, just as I did with a record number of other hostages. The deal for Griner is crazy and bad. The taking wouldn't have even happened during my Administration, but if it did, I would have gotten her out, fast!"
Paul Whelan, a retired Marine not included in the Biden administration's deal, was detained in Russia in 2018 over allegations of espionage.
Roger Carstens, the president's special envoy for hostage affairs, who was with Griner when she touched down on American soil, said, according to Clutch Points, that she told him, "I've been in prison for 10 months, listening to the Russians. I want to talk."
"I was left with the impression this is an intelligent, passionate, compassionate, humble, interesting person, a patriotic person," Carstens said of Griner. "But above all, authentic. I hate the fact that I had to meet her in this manner, but I actually felt blessed having had a chance to get to know her."
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