Trump Reveals He Rejected Offer To Trade ‘Merchant Of Death’ For Paul Whelan

Trump Reveals He Rejected Offer To Trade ‘Merchant Of Death’ For Paul Whelan

At a moment the Biden administration is still on the defensive over the one for one Brittney Griner and Viktor Bout prisoner swap, former President Donald Trump on Sunday once again bashed the “crazy and bad” deal

He also revealed that during his time in the White House the Russians made an offer which would have resulted in ex-Marine Paul Whelan gaining his freedom, however, he explained he turned it down at the time because it was not worth the US setting free a convicted international arms trafficker and terrorist.

“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 said on the social media platform he founded, Truth Social. 

File image via Time Magazine

Upon his release by the Biden administration last week, Bout was serving 25-year sentence at a US federal prison, while Griner had been held for 10-months and had recently been transferred to a labor camp to complete a 9-year sentence for bringing drugs into the country.

While Trump asserted in his fresh comments that he “would have gotten Paul out” – though without specifying what shape such a deal would have taken – he said the following of the Biden swap which freed Griner, but which left Whelan and at least one other American, Marc Fogel, behind

“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!

But again, he didn’t specify how that theoretically would have been in accomplished. Presumably he may have looked at the cases of other Russians that Moscow may be interested in receiving back.

Paul Whelan’s family, however, has said the Trump administration had never seemed interested in freeing him, with brother David Whelan saying, “I think the first two years, partly I think the Trump administration was not prepared to or not interested in working on wrongful detention cases,” in weekend comments on MSNBC. “The Biden administration is much more engaged in wrongful detentions,” he said. 

White House officials have in the meantime taken to the Sunday talk shows to deflect GOP criticism of the swap, with National Security Council spokesman John Kirby saying “They weren’t on the phone. They weren’t watching the incredible effort and determination by [Roger Carstens] and his team to try to get both Paul and Brittney out together.”

Russian media, meanwhile, has been spiking the proverbial football…

Wowwww Russian media BRUTALLY mock the U.S. for trading Brittany Griner for Viktor Bout. And really, are they wrong?

— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) December 9, 2022

Kirby added in response to anger over such a notorious Russian criminal being granted freedom: “In a negotiation, you do what you can. You do as much as you can. You push and you push and you push. And we did. And this deal we got last week, that was the deal that was possible. It was the deal we could get now. Now was the moment we could get it, and we executed it.”

Tyler Durden
Mon, 12/12/2022 – 09:15

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