Thump In The Morning

Thump In The Morning

Thump In The Morning

Brittney Griner, the American basketball star imprisoned in Russia, was released on Thursday morning after nearly 10 months of captivity in a prisoner swap for Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer known as the “Merchant of Death,” President Biden announced.

In a brief statement from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, with Cherelle Griner, Ms. Griner’s wife, by his side, Mr. Biden confirmed that Brittney Griner is free and would be back in the United States within 24 hours.

The one for one exchange agreement negotiated with Moscow in recent weeks was given final approval by President Biden within just the last week. The swap, first reported by, took place on Thursday in the United Arab Emirates.

This news comes after months of back and forth negotiations between the U.S. and Russia following Griner’s arrest in February after officials allegedly found hash oil in her luggage. She pleaded and was found guilty of drug smuggling charges and was originally sentenced to nine years. Griner was sent to a penal colony in November, but now, she will return home in time for Christmas.

Speaking shortly after Griner was released, President Biden said at the White House he was “glad to be able to say Brittney is in good spirits,” and that she was looking forward to getting home. The president dismissed the “show trial in Russia” that landed her in prison, and said “she didn’t ask for special treatment.”

To secure Griner’s release, the president ordered Bout to be freed and returned to Russia. President Biden signed the commutation order cutting short Bout’s 25 year federal prison sentence.

This is huge, and The World is celebrating with Brittney and her family. We are elated that Griner is finally free. This brings a new meaning to the Christmas song “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”

  • President Biden

  • Uju Anya

  • Phillip Lewis

  • Billie Jean King

  • CBS News

  • Aaron Rupar

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