It Looks Like Trump Just Had A Big Cup Of Covfefe Over Griner’s Release
Former President Trump, who attacked WNBA star Brittney Griner after she was freed from a Russian prison last week as part of a prisoner swap deal with the Biden administration, is still trying to justify his failure to secure the release of Paul Whelan while he was president as Whelan’s family called out his fake outrage.
“I turned down a deal with Russia for a one on one swap of the so-called Merchant of Death for Paul Whelan. 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,” Trump wrote on his social media website Truth Social.
He added: “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!”
Griner, who was arrested in February for bringing vape cartridges with hashish oil into the country, was released in exchange for Viktor Bout, an infamous Russian arms dealer serving a 25-year sentence in an American prison.
Trump and his allies criticized President Biden over the deal, with Trump using his social media platform to ask why Whelan wasn’t included in what he called a one-sided transaction that freed Griner.
“What kind of a deal is it to swap Brittney Griner, a basketball player who openly hates our country for the man known as ‘The Merchant of Death,’” Trump wrote in a post on his conservative social media website Truth Social.
The former president suggested Paul Whelan should have been freed instead of Griner. Whelan is a former Marine with citizenship in four nations, including the U.S., who was arrested in Russia in 2018 on espionage charges convicted in 2020, receiving a 16-year prison sentence.
“What a stupid and unpatriotic embarrassment for the USA!” Trump wrote.
But Whelan’s family is not buying Trump’s “indignation.”
David Whelan, Paul’s twin brother and the family’s spokesperson, fired back at Trump by praising the US State Department for the negotiation that led to Griner’s release.
“I just wanted to call out the fact that during his presidency, Trump never, ever mentioned Paul’s name in public. Not once in his many, many tweets or any sort of public statement,” Whelan said. “In a sense, you could say they did nothing.”
David Whelan continued his response to Trump on Twitter, writing: “Former President Trump appears to have mentioned my brother #PaulWhelan’s wrongful detention more in the last 24 hours than he did in the 2 years of his presidency in which Paul was held hostage by #Russia (zero). I don’t suggest he cares now any more than he did then (zero).”
On Saturday, Whelan followed up, noting that his brother begged then-President Trump to use Twitter to make a public statement.
“You judge a person by their actions or, in this case, inaction,” David Whelan tweeted.
Former President Trump appears to have mentioned my brother #PaulWhelan's wrongful detention more in the last 24 hours than he did in the 2 years of his presidency in which Paul was held hostage by #Russia (zero). I don't suggest he cares now any more than he did then (zero) https://t.co/7lnSF0zJxL
— David Whelan (@davidpwhelan) December 9, 2022
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