President Trump issued scathing criticism for the decision of the Biden administration to swap WNBA player Brittney Griner and a former US Marine (who are each in Russian captivity) for vicious Russian international arms dealer and trafficker Viktor Bout.
Bout is widely known as the “Merchant of Death.”
Bout Could Be of Good Use to Putin
Viktor Bout, a former officer and translator, has been in US custody since 2011. He is presently serving a 25-year-long sentence for arms trafficking in a top security Illinois prison.
After the 1991 breakup of the former Soviet Union, he went rogue. Bout spent the 1990s and the 2000s selling Cold War-era weaponry to all kinds of nasty international actors.
His client list featured rogue states and violent guerrilla movements, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan, Libya’s late dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the FARC Marxist rebels in Colombia, and half a dozen violent dictatorships in Africa, among others.
Brittney Griner, a star of the WNBA, who’s been known for her woke protests against the American flag, was arrested at an airport in Moscow, Russia, days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
She has been held in custody on drug trafficking charges. It remains unknown but highly likely that she was deliberately targeted by the Russian regime as a potential high-profile prisoner who can be exchanged for somebody Putin needs.
Griner pleaded guilty to the charges, apparently in anticipation of a prisoner swap.
As per the prisoner exchange offer the Biden administration sent to Putin, the Merchant of Death is supposed to be exchanged for Griner, plus Paul Whelan, a former US Marine and security consultant who has been jailed in Russia on spying charges since 2018.
At the present moment, however, it seems the Putin regime is insisting on getting one more prisoner in US custody, a convicted murderer, as though Viktor Bout is not enough.
Trump, talking about Griner for Bout trade:
“It certainly doesn’t sound like a very good trade, does it? Bout is one of the worst in the world, and he’ll be given his freedom because a spoiled person goes into Russia loaded up with drugs, and admitted it.”
— 🇺🇸ProudArmyBrat (@leslibless) July 31, 2022
‘Potentially Spoiled Person’ For One of ‘World’s Worst’
President Trump, who had his fair share of dealing with Putin has spoken out about the proposed prisoner exchange; his assessment is hardly flattering.
According to Trump, Putin getting Bout and America getting back Griner is not “a very good trade,” not an even trade, and is certainly to the benefit of the Russians.
Trump blasted Griner for behaving irresponsibly when she went to Russia, thus allowing Putin to now take advantage of capturing her to the detriment of the United States.
Trump spoke on the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show where he declared Griner “knew” she shouldn’t have gone to Russia “loaded up with drugs,” and she has admitted that.
Family of teacher detained in Russia begs Biden, Blinken to add him to Britney Griner deal https://t.co/FRD1ujYhxG
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 30, 2022
Trump fumed that to set Griner free, the US government is going to let go of “an absolute killer” and one of the world’s biggest illegal arms traders, who “killed many Americans” and other people.
He said on “America’s Newsroom” that exchanging the arms dealer for a regular citizen, even a sports celebrity, would “set a dangerous precedent.”
It would allow the Russians to constantly blackmail the US simply by jailing any American citizens they can get their hands on.
This article appeared in BeyondNews and has been published here with permission.