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Tags: pompeo | griner | bout | russia | trade

Pompeo: Griner-Bout Exchange Endangers Traveling Celebrities

By    |   Sunday, 11 December 2022 08:42 PM EST

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the prisoner exchange with Russia, in which WNBA player Brittney Griner was released from prison in Russia in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, will increase the likelihood that other famous people will be taken hostage in other countries.

Pompeo, who served in the Trump administration, told "Fox News Sunday" that the administration would be careful not to create incentives for enemies when negotiating prisoner exchanges.

"The Trump administration was always very clear. We weren't going to trade bad guys for celebrities because it creates the wrong incentives for the bad guys as we go forward. It's not good for American national security. It's not good for people who are traveling across the world," Pompeo said.

People "of notoriety" traveling abroad are less safe because of the Biden administration's deal with Russia, since it sends the wrong message to America's enemies, according to Pompeo.

"My mission was always to get every American back but, at the same time, not create the risk that more Americans would be taken in. There is no doubt that today not just Vladimir Putin, but all the bad guys, the Iranians, those who hold Americans in detention, see that if you take a celebrity, the chance of getting one of your bad guys back out of American control is greater. I think for people out there of notoriety, it is more likely they will be taken hostage today, and that is not a good policy," Pompeo said.

Bout, also known as the "Merchant of Death," was released from federal prison by the U.S. in exchange for Griner.

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Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the prisoner exchange with Russia, in which WNBA player Brittney Griner was traded for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, will increase the likelihood that other famous people will be taken hostage in other countries.
pompeo, griner, bout, russia, trade
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2022-42-11
Sunday, 11 December 2022 08:42 PM
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