Former US President Donald Trump has angered pretty much every reasonable-minded person again, this time by defending Russia’s arrest of out WNBA player Brittney Griner
Out 31-year-old basketball player Brittney Griner, who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, has been incarcerated since February when she was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for being in possession of a small amount (less than a gram in two vape cartridges) of cannabis oil.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist, who is queer, is being tried on international drug-smuggling charges and could be sentenced to ten years in a penal colony.
The Biden administration has proposed trading Griner, along with detained US citizen and former marine Paul Whelan, for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who has served 11 years of a 25-year sentence in the U.S.
Whelan was a corporate security director who was arrested in 2018 in Russia and is serving a 16-year sentence for allegedly spying.
Trump criticized the proposed deal, accusing Griner of being “loaded up on drugs” and calling her a “potentially spoiled person.”
During an appearance on “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show”, he claimed:
“She went in there loaded up with drugs into a hostile territory where they’re very vigilant about drugs. They don’t like drugs,” Trump said.
“And she got caught. And now we’re supposed to get her out – and she makes, you know, a lot of money, I guess – and we’re supposed to get her out for an absolute killer and one of the biggest arms dealers in the world.”
Trump called WNBA star Brittney Griner, “spoiled,” and implied he wouldn’t have made the deal to get her out of prison in Russia. pic.twitter.com/NYcT5e2Kxd
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) July 31, 2022
Griner pled guilty at her trial in Khimki in July, adding that she accidentally packed the two oil cartridges.
“I’d like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law,” she told the court.
Griner made a direct appeal to President Joe Biden, asking “please don’t forget about me” and to help get her out of Russia.
A handwritten letter, which was delivered to the White House on Monday read:
“I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other detainees,” an excerpt released by the WNBA star’s representatives said. “Please do all you can to bring us home.”
“I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore.”
“I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home,” Griner wrote.
A representative for Griner said they would not release the entire letter or detail how it got from Griner’s jail cell outside Moscow to the White House.
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough was one of the many to react angrily to the remarks from Trump, saying:
“We have Donald Trump calling Brittney Griner ‘spoiled,’ and we have Donald Trump talking about her, quote, ‘loaded up with drugs.’ There’s been no testimony, no evidence, no suggestion that she was, quote, ‘loaded up with drugs’,” he said on Monday morning.
“It once again shows just what a terrible guy this is, what a heinous human being. How cruel it is. And you cannot help but wonder if he’s saying that because she’s a black basketball player,” the former Congressman then added, echoing the thoughts of pretty much all of us.
Meanwhile many on social media were quick to point out that the MAGA crowd, since Griner’s arrest, have made quite the big deal on Twitter of saying things like, “Trump would have got her out by now”, then blaming Joe Biden for her continued detainment.
A suggestion we can now pretty reasonably confirm to not be true.
Here is what some folk are saying on Twitter, below:
Would Donald Trump be voicing his objection to a planned prisoner swap with Russia for Brittney Griner if she was white and straight?
— MJP (@MikeJoPro) July 31, 2022
Trump, as usual does not have his facts right. Griner was not loaded up with drugs. She had a few vape cartridges and some hashish oil that were for medical use. He is simply blowing a typical racist dog whistle and telling that he would not have worked to bring her home.
— Judy Kratochvil 🇺🇦☮️😷💉💉 (@judithkratochvi) July 31, 2022
Hey Putin – give us back Brittney Griner and we’ll give you back Trump.
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) July 27, 2022
Deplorable as always I see. https://t.co/daDZWRHtb5
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 1, 2022
Imagine ever believing this clown is a champion for criminal justice reform or gives a single damn about Black people. https://t.co/Q7vNE3Skfd
— Matt Rogers (@Politidope) August 1, 2022