President Joe Biden met with Cherelle Griner, the wife of Brittney Griner, Friday to discuss the administration’s work in bringing the WNBA star home.
Cherelle Griner and Elizabeth Whelan, sister of detained former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, sat down with President Biden for separate meetings in the Oval office.
“We’re going to continue to do everything that we can, working tirelessly every day, to make sure that we get them home,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan was also present at the meetings with Cherelle Griner and Elizabeth Whelan, per the White House.
“I’ve felt every minute of the grueling seven months without her,” Cherelle Griner said in a statement. “I look forward to the day my wife is back home. As my family and I continue on this journey, I’d like to thank the broad coalition of friends, leaders and supporters who continue to stand with us and advocate for Brittney’s swift and safe return. Let’s share a unified commitment to bringing all Americans home to their families and loved ones. Together We Are BG.”
Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on drug charges in August after first being detained while moving through a Moscow area airport in February.
Russia’s foreign ministry said it has been in talks with the United States about a potential prisoner swap for Griner and Whelan.
According to Reuters, sources familiar with the situation say a deal has been presented to exchange Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout for Griner and Whelan.
“A substantial offer is on the table and they should accept it,” Jean-Pierre said.