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“We believe it is important for the American people to know how hard President Biden is working to bring Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan home,” White House national security spokesman John F. Kirby said at the time. “We think it’s important that their families know how hard we’re working on this.”

After Ms Greener was sentenced on Thursday, Mr Biden renewed his commitment to “pursue all possible avenues to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible”.

However, the White House did not say how Mr. Biden might achieve that goal. “I don’t think it would be helpful for Brittany or for Paul to talk more publicly about where we are in the negotiations and what the president may or may not be willing to do,” Mr. Kirby said.

But almost any additional proposals would certainly increase criticism from the other side of Mr. Biden — and accusations that Mr. Biden has bent on blackmail from Mr. Putin, a man he has called a war criminal.

“That’s why dictatorships — like Venezuela, Iran, China, Russia — take Americans hostage because they know they’re going to get something for it,” Congressman Mike Waltz, R-Florida, told Newsmax last week. “They know that eventually some administration will pay.” And that just puts a target on the back of every American out there.

Mike Pompeo, the former secretary of state, echoed the criticism in an interview with Fox News last week, saying Mr. Booth’s release would “probably lead to the arrest of more” Americans overseas. And former President Donald J. Trump, who when in office prided himself on freeing Americans detained overseas, slammed the proposed deal.

Griner’s Sentence Renews Pressure on President Biden – Digital Tech Blog

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