In the wake of WNBA star Britney Griner’s release from a Russian prison, U.S. Rep. Barry Moore said the swap was a major mistake by the Biden administration.
Griner arrived Thursday in the United States after being released by the Russian government in exchange for Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer.
She had been in Russian custody for 10 months on drug smuggling charges after she was found with a vape cartridge containing a small quantity of cannabis oil.
Thursday on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program,” Moore (R-Enterprise) said exchanging the arms dealer for the basketball player made no sense.
“It’s a continued fever dream from the Biden administration…it just makes no sense,” Moore said. “It’s not what’s best for our country going forward and certainly not something I think we should consider a good move on part of the administration. I just can’t understand for the life of me why they would do that.”
The congressman argued that this was just another example of President Biden showing “weakness” on the world stage.
“I’m sure they were getting a lot of political pressure from the left to do something,” he said. “But when you’re weak like they are, the administration, and they’re not that well respected globally, you have to trade an arms dealer for a basketball player and that’s where we’re at with the leadership of this White House right now.”
Moore believes this will just encourage America’s enemies to take advantage of similar situations in the future.
“It’s sets a bad precedent much like the evacuation in Afghanistan, our policy in Ukraine, there’s so many things that this administration is doing that are not good globally, and they’re certainly not good for national security,” he said. “If you’re an American athlete or just a citizen travelling to a foreign country where there may be bad actors involved, you can be used as a tool to barter with the U.S. government by some of these bad actor nations to go after getting some of these bad people free that we really don’t need to have turned lose and that are locked up for a reason in this country.
“It just doesn’t bode well going forward for us and it certainly makes it more dangerous for Americans to travel abroad.”
Moore said this is just another example of Biden’s failures with foreign policy.
“I think that there’s peace through strength,” he said. “We look very weak right now and I think in a lot of ways that puts us in a precarious position, whether that’s in Ukraine or Taiwan, what we did in Afghanistan again, and moves like this by the administration, they don’t seem to put national policy ahead of politics around here.”