Former President Donald Trump on Sunday denounced American WNBA star Brittney Griner as “spoiled” and said he would not make any deal to get her out of jail in Russia because she “makes a lot of money.” silver”.
Griner was arrested in Moscow in February as she entered the country for a tournament when officials discovered vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.
Trump claimed on the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton show that Griner entered Russia “loaded with drugs”.
In fact, she had 0.7 grams (0.024 ounces) of cannabis oil, which is legal in her home state of Arizona and many other US states. Russian media, which reported the amount, said officials considered it “significant”.
Griner, who said she had a doctor’s note for the cannabis oil, explained in a Russian court when she pleaded guilty earlier this month that she forgot it was in her bag and l brought into the country inadvertently.
The athlete was arrested as Russian officials protested Western sanctions for his invasion of Ukraine. Griner faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of transporting drugs.
Trump criticized reports that the United States was considering trading notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, held in a US prison, to secure the release of Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan, who is serving a 16-year sentence in Russia for what US officials call baseless espionage charges.
Griner “knew we weren’t going there loaded with drugs, and she admitted that,” Trump said.
“I guess she admitted it without too much force because that’s what it is, and that sure doesn’t sound like a very good trade, does it?” he added. Bout is “absolutely one of the worst in the world, and he’s going to be released because a potentially spoiled person walks into Russia high on drugs.”
Griner “went there loaded with drugs in hostile territory where they’re very vigilant about drugs,” Trump complained. “They don’t like drugs. And she got caught. »
He added: “Now we’re supposed to get her out – and she’s making, you know, a lot of money. We’re supposed to get her out for an absolute killer and one of the biggest arms dealers in the world. Killed a lot of Americans. Killed a lot of people, and he’s gonna get a free card,” Trump added.
Critics have accused Trump of criticizing Griner for being black, gay and a woman.
He also has a long history of defending Russia, even against American interests, and frequently touts his great friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. When Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, the former president called it a “genius”.
Trump openly asked for Russia’s help in 2016 to hack rival Hillary Clinton’s emails, then used equipment stolen by Russian spies to attack Clinton in the final stretch of the election.