Rep. Mike Waltz – Joe Biden’s ‘lopsided’ Brittney Griner trades ‘major propaganda victory’ for Putin
After former WNBA star Brittney Griner was released from Russian custody in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, nicknamed “the dealer of death”, Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) blasted the “unbalanced” chord, calling it “major”. victory of propaganda” for The leader of Russia.
In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News on Sunday, Waltz, a Florida native who represents the Sunshine State’s 6th congressional district, accused the president of allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to ‘dictate’ the terms of the recent prisoner swap. .
“Biden just delivered a big propaganda victory for Putin by allowing the Russians to dictate the terms of the exchange for the Vicktor ‘Merchant of Death’ fight against Brittney Griner,” he said.
Bout’s release was famous by the Russian government and its state media, variously describing it as a “New Year’s gift” for a “wonderful person”.
A National Guard colonel as well as a former White House and Pentagon political adviser and the first Green Beret to be elected to Congress, Waltz insisted that officials in the current administration have a history of such moves.
“Biden administration officials — dating back to the Obama years — have repeatedly struck lopsided hostage deals with authoritarian and terrorist groups dating back to giving the Taliban five in exchange for the traitor Bowe Berghdal,” he said. said, referring to the five high-risk Taliban commanders freed by the Obama administration in exchange for the kidnapping of US Army defector Bowe Bergdahl in 2014.
Last year the Taliban announcement four of the five released Taliban leaders served as senior officials in his “caretaker” government, with the fifth member appointed Taliban governor of Khost province.
Waltz, commander of special forces in Afghanistan at the time of the abduction and a member of Bergdahl’s search team, had later accused the soldier disappeared from “treason not only of his country but also of his brothers in arms”, having undoubtedly led to the death of soldiers during the search.
He also told Breitbart News that former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who was imprisoned in Russia in 2018 on alleged ‘espionage’ charges and notably barred from the recent prisoner swap, ‘deserves better from Washington’s leadership’. .
“It is time for this administration to make drastic changes to its hostage policy, including increasing costs for those who dare to try to unlawfully detain Americans,” he concluded.
It is absolutely shameful. The Whelan family has waited years for Paul to return, and the Biden administration is prioritizing a celebrity over a veteran. https://t.co/AkQddfS83D
— Representative Mike Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) December 8, 2022
Thursday, Breitbart News reported that Russia freed two-time Olympic gold medalist Griner in a high-profile prisoner swap, with the United States freeing notorious Viktor Bout, who the Justice Department has described as one of the drug dealers most prolific weapons in the world.
In 2010, Mike Braun, the former chief of operations for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), said Bout was “one of the most dangerous men on the face of the earth”.
Biden’s authorization of the trade underscored the growing pressure his administration was facing to bring Griner home, especially after his recent criminal case was resolved and transferred to a penal colony.
“A few moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner. She’s safe. She’s on a plane. She’s on her way home,” Biden tweeted.
A few moments ago, I spoke to Brittney Griner.
She is safe.
She’s on a plane.
She is on her way back. pic.twitter.com/FmHgfzrcDT
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 8, 2022
The exchange has since drawn widespread criticism, including senior government officials.
Former President Donald Trump slammed the prisoner exchange, calling it “stupid” and an “unpatriotic embarrassment”.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) warned that the deal would result in the deaths of innocent people as rogue states interpret the move as open season to arrest Americans, saying “more Americans will be detained, in some cases unjustly detained, in the future because ‘ they realize that Joe Biden – at least as long as he is president – will give the farm in exchange for any American citizens.
Former DEA agent Tom Pasquarello, who originally helped catch Bout, also struck down the exchange.
“I’m a little incredulous that someone with the potential to orchestrate arms deals that could kill Americans anywhere in the world is being traded for a prisoner,” he said.
“I think it sends a terrible message that the United States will negotiate, that it will make concessions, and that if an American is detained abroad, there is always the potential that the United States will accept the requests for people like Putin and bail them out,” he added.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.