Former national security adviser criticizes White House over Viktor Bout-Brittney Griner swap
Former US National Security Adviser John Bolton denounced Thursday’s senior prisoner exchange with Russia, saying it was a sign of weak incentives. “terrorists and rogue nations.”
“The Bout-for-Griner prisoner exchange is not a sale, it is the surrender of the Americans. This is not American power. Terrorists and rogue nations are smiling,” Bolton said above Twitter.
Viktor Bout, a Russian national, sentenced to 25 years in the US for arms smuggling, was exchanged for basketball star Brittney Griner, who was sentenced in August to nine years in a penal colony of Russia. Russia for drug trafficking. The transaction took place in the United Arab Emirates.
The United States and Russia granted amnesty to both before the exchange, mediated by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, according to a joint statement released by the two Gulf nations on Thursday.
While Bolton did not explain why he considers the swap to be a “surrender,” most of the criticism directed at President Joe Biden has to do with his choice of WNBA’s Griner over Paul Whelan, a retired U.S. Marine convicted of espionage in 2020 and convicted of espionage. 16-year sentence.
US considers allegations against Whelan “totally illegal,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Thursday afternoon, but said the final choice was “Either take Brittney home or no one.” Biden will “never stop working” to secure Whelan’s release, she added.
When asked about the role of Saudi and UAE in the swap, Jean-Pierre said “no mediation involved” and only Russia and America were present at the table.
“Personally, Brittney is more than just an athlete, more than an Olympic athlete, she is an important role model and an inspiration to millions of Americans, especially community Americans. LGBTQI+ and women of color,” Jean-Pierre, who made headlines as the first black lesbian to speak for the White House, added.
Bolton is a longtime foreign-policy hawk who served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019. After being fired, presumably for sabotaging the government. During the nuclear negotiations with North Korea, he became an outspoken critic of Trump. Although he has never held an elected office, last week Bolton said he would ready to run for the Republican nomination in 2024 if other Republican hopes fail “refuse” 45th president.