USA Reportedly Made ‘Substantial’ Trade Offer For Brittney Griner That Includes ‘Merchant Of Death’ Viktor Bout

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The USA has officially entered public trade talks with Russia for jailed WNBA star Brittney Griner.

On Wednesday afternoon, it was reported that the USA had made a “significant” trade offer for Griner months after she was arrested in Moscow airport for allegedly carrying hashish oil.

According to CNN, the Biden administration is ready to trade Griner and Paul Whelan, who has been held by Russia for alleged espionage since 2018, for the infamous “merchant of death” arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Via CNN

These sources told CNN that the plan to trade Bout for Whelan and Griner received the backing of President Joe Biden after being under discussion since earlier this year. Biden’s support for the swap overrides opposition from the Department of Justice, which is generally against prisoner trades.

“We communicated a substantial offer that we believe could be successful based on a history of conversations with the Russians,” a senior administration official told CNN Wednesday. “We communicated that a number of weeks ago, in June.”

Apparently, the “substantial” trade offer was made weeks ago, and Russia has yet to accept it.

We communicated a substantial offer that we believe could be successful based on a history of conversations with the Russians,” a senior administration official told CNN Wednesday. “We communicated that a number of weeks ago, in June.”

The official declined to comment on the specifics of the “substantial offer.” They said it was in Russia’s “court to be responsive to it, yet at the same time that does not leave us passive, as we continue to communicate the offer at very senior levels.”