Biden and Harris converse with Cherelle Griner, spouse of detained WNBA star Brittney Griner

Washington — President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke Wednesday with Cherelle Griner, the spouse of WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner, who stays behind bars in Russia, the White Home stated. 

Griner has been imprisoned in Russia since February, and her trial started final week. The Biden administration has been below rising strain to do extra to safe her launch.

The decision comes two days after a handwritten letter by the 31-year-old Griner to Mr. Biden was delivered to the White Home, in line with her household, through which she implored the president to convey her residence. “I am terrified I may be right here perpetually,” the Phoenix Mercury participant wrote

The White Home stated Wednesday that the president and vice chairman “spoke at this time with Cherelle Griner, the spouse of Brittney Griner who’s wrongfully detained in Russia below insupportable circumstances.”

Mr. Biden sought “to reassure her that he’s working to safe Brittney’s launch as quickly as doable, in addition to the discharge of Paul Whelan and different U.S. nationals who’re wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the globe,” the White Home stated. “He additionally learn her a draft of the letter the president is sending to Brittney Griner at this time.”

The White Home didn’t share specifics from the president’s letter to Griner, however stated the president on Wednesday provided his help to the Griner household and provided his dedication to creating positive they obtain all doable assist from the administration. Nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have beforehand spoken with Cherelle Griner. 

Cherelle Griner instructed “CBS Mornings” on Tuesday that her spouse determined to put in writing to Mr. Biden immediately as a result of the household had not been in contact with him.

“It kills me each time that, you understand, when I’ve to put in writing her and she or he’s asking, ‘Have you ever met with them but?’ And I’ve to say no … I am positive she is like, ‘I’ll write him and ask now as a result of my household has tried to no avail, so I’ll do it myself,'” Cherelle stated.

Griner was arrested at an airport close to Moscow in February, with officers claiming she had vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her baggage. If convicted, she faces as much as 10 years in jail. 

Vanessa Nygaard, the pinnacle coach of the Phoenix Mercury, implied this week that Griner’s case can be making extra progress if she have been a male basketball star within the NBA. 

“If it was LeBron, he’d be residence, proper?” Nygaard stated, referring to Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. “It is a assertion concerning the worth of ladies. It is a assertion concerning the worth of a Black individual. It is a assertion concerning the worth of a homosexual individual. All of these issues. We all know, and so that is what hurts a bit of extra.”

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