Brittney Griner is still languishing in a Russian prison, but President Joe Biden hasn’t forgotten her. He met today with her wife, Cherelle Griner, and let her know that he is working to gain the WNBA star’s freedom.
Separate meetings in the Oval Office were held with Cherelle Griner and Elizabeth Whelan, sister of detained former US Marine Paul Whelan.
“We’re going to continue to do everything that we can, working tirelessly every day, to make sure that we get them home,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, speaking on the meeting substance.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan joined Biden at the meetings, the White House said.
Griner is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and now plays for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA. She was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on drug charges on Aug. 4. Griner was convicted for having a small amount of medical cannabis in vape cartridges in her luggage. Cannabis is illegal in Russia for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
The US and Russia have been discussing a potential prisoner swap, but the talks have yet to bear fruit.
Whelan was sentenced in 2020 to 16 years in jail after being convicted of spying. He denied the charge.