White House attempting to arrange prisoner swap for reporter held in Russia

 July 10, 2023

Just the News reported that the White House is in talks with the Russian government over a possible prisoner swap to free Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.

Gershkovich has been in custody since he was accused earlier this year of being an American spy, a claim that both Gershkovich and the Biden administration deny.

Nation security advisors says "there have been discussions" but no "clear pathway"

The announcement regarding a possible exchange was made by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan during a press briefing this past Friday.

Sullivan told reporters "there have been discussions" with the Kremlin but stressed that the dialog has not "produced a clear pathway."

"We have also made clear for months now, even before Evan was detained as we were dealing with Paul Whelan, that we are prepared to do hard things in order to get our citizens," he explained.

White House previously traded notorious arms dealer for WNBA player

Paul Whelan is a former United States Marine who has spent the past five years in a Russian prison on espionage charges.

"We have said that we remain in contact with Russian authorities, at high levels, on these cases," Sullivan continued before adding, "I do not want to give false hope."

If an exchange does take place, then it would not be the first prisoner swap that the White House has negotiated with Russia. Last December, the administration traded WNBA star for notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Griner previously refused to stand for anthem

Griner was caught at a Russian airport with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil while Bout, who is also known as the "Merchant of Death."

According to Fox News, Bout received a 25-year sentence in 2011 after he was convicted of conspiring to kill Americans, illegally sell anti-aircraft missiles, and provide aid to a terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, Griner had previously attracted criticism over her refusal to stand for the national anthem during basketball games.

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