Joe Biden has bragged repeatedly in recent days about swapping the “Merchant of Death” Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout, who has “killed untold numbers” for an American lesbian basketball player who broke Russia’s drug laws and was sentenced to prison there.
Now President Donald Trump has confirmed he refused to give up the criminal Russian, when it was proposed that he be exchanged for another American, U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who is serving time in Russian for a conviction that he charges was set up by intel operatives there.
The Epoch Times reports Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform this weekend, “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.”
The report explained Bout, 55, was given 25 years in prison in 2012 for “conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to a Colombian terrorist group committed to killing Americans.”
Biden set him free in exchange for WNBA player Brittney Griner, 32, who pleaded guilty to violating Russia’s drug laws and was sentenced to prison.
Trump noted that he had gotten other Americans detained overseas back to the U.S., and he would have done the same with Whelan, had he remained in office.
The report explained Trump was critical of the Biden administration over its prisoner exchange agreement with Moscow.
“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!” Trump explained.
He has explained, previously on his social media site, “The Trump administration got 58 hostages released from various hostile countries without paying any money, or giving up anything. That is something, both in numbers and lack of remuneration, that has never been done before in any other administration.”
He said that deal for Griner is “a one-sided disaster, and a BIG WIN FOR RUSSIA.”
Whelan told CNN in an interview from his Russian prison that he’s been disappointed “that more has not been done to secure my release, especially as the four year anniversary of my arrest is coming up.”
The White House claimed Russia wouldn’t allow Whelan to be included in the latest swap.
“Americans welcome the release of Brittney Griner, but it shouldn’t have come at the cost of releasing one of the world’s worst arms dealers and creating a dangerous precedent for our enemies: detain Americans and Democrats will agree to set your worst killers free,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., warned.