Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Press Secretary, addressed concerns regarding basketball player Brittney Griner’s release from captivity, while US Marine Paul Whelan remains behind bars in Russia.
Jean-Pierre said, “President Biden keeps his promises and today he fulfilled a deeply important promise to bring Brittney Griner home to a family that loves her, a team that misses her, and a country that has marveled at her strength and courage.”
She went on to say, “Throughout her ordeal, we saw Brittney, a two-time Olympic gold medalist for team USA, demonstrate strength, courage, and dignity. As the president said this morning, she represents the best of America.”
The White House Press Secretary brought up identity politics as being a reason to celebrate Griner’s release saying, “Brittney is more than an athlete, more than an Olympian, she is an important role model and inspiration to millions of Americans, particularly the LGBTQI+ Americans and women of color.”
“She should never have been detained by Russia. And we are, I am, deeply proud of the work that the president has done, this administration has done, to get her home,” Jean-Pierre said.
Karine Jean-Pierre on why the White House was able to bring Griner home but not former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan:
“Unfortunately, the choice became to either bring Brittney home or no one.”
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) December 8, 2022
Jean Pierre did mention Paul Whelan’s continued imprisonment in Russia. “In recent weeks it became clear that while Russians were willing to reach an agreement to secure Brittny’s release, they continue to treat Paul Whelan differently, given the nature to the totally illigitiment charges they have levied against Paul.”
Jean Pierre went on to explain, Unfortunately, the choice became either bring Brittny home, or no one. As the President explained this morning, he will never give up in obtaining Paul’s release and return home.”