Biden To Meet With Griner And Whelan Families

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President Joe Biden will meet with the families of detained US citizens WNBA player Brittney Griner and Marine veteran Paul Whelan.

The Associated Press broke the story that Biden will hold separate meetings with each family. This will be the first time he has met with either one in-person.

However, according Associated Press, these meetings do not mean that there are any imminent developments in the case.

Biden’s meetings with both families are meant to “connect with them on a human level as they undergo an ordeal that the Russian government has imposed on them,” an anonymous official told the Associated Press.

Griner has been in Russian jail on drug charges since February, and was handed a 9-year prison sentence. Whelan is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence on espionage charges. Both Whelan and his family have denied Russia’s claims.

Brittney Griner Was The First Pick In The 2013 WNBA Draft

Biden had previously spoken to Griner’s wife and Whelan’s sister, but only by phone.

Former United States diplomat Bill Richardson was reportedly in Russia last week to try to free both Griner and Whelan.

While Richardson has worked to bring home detained Americans in the past, the federal government distanced itself from his visit.

“Our concern is that private citizens attempting to broker a deal do not and cannot speak for the US government, and we have urged private citizens not to travel to Russia, owing to the dangers that they would face,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Griner’s case has gotten a lot of attention thanks to her status as a pro athlete. Whelan’s family continues to try to make sure that the WNBA player’s situation doesn’t overshadow his.

Wheland has been held by the Russians since 2018, but was not included in a prisoner swap for Marine veteran Trevor Reed earlier this year,

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Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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