Trump says Brittney Griner’s release from prison in Russia was ‘not the greatest trade’

Trump and Griner

Donald Trump has said basketball star Brittney Griner being freed from a Russian jail wasn’t “the greatest trade”. 

Presidential hopeful Trump, recently found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records, commented on Griner’s release while on pro wrestler and influencer Logan Paul’s podcast Impaulsive

Trump condemned Griner – she was part of a swap deal involving Russian politician Viktor Bout, who the former president called “a great arms dealer” – because she didn’t stand for the national anthem. 

Griner chose not to stand for the anthem in 2020 as a protest against police brutality in the US.

“The basketball player who wouldn’t stand up for the national anthem. She thought that was a good time to tie her sneakers,” Trump said. “And that was not exactly the greatest trade. But [president Biden] gave six billion dollars on top of it. Six billion, billion with a B. They don’t know what they’re doing.”

It’s thought that Trump’s reference to the $6 billion is with regard to a US prisoner swap with Iran in 2023, which had nothing to do with Griner. The move allowed enabled Tehran to access – in very strict circumstances – frozen oil revenue held in a bank in South Korea, Outsports reported.

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Phoenix Mercury centre Griner was held for 10 months after being arrested in February 2022, when Russian authorities found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. She was eventually sentenced to nine years on drug charges but freed in December.

Trump’s comments came as he discussed the situation in the Middle East, claiming Iran is thriving under president Biden. 

In April, first lady Jill Biden branded the presumptive Republican nominee a “bully” and described him as “dangerous” for the LGBTQ+ community. 

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