MSBNC Host And Guest Agree Criticism of Biden’s Griner Prisoner Swap Is ‘Un-American’

For MSNBC host Alicia Menendez, the United States’ decision to trade a “monster” for a single prisoner from Russia was a noble one. Menendez, on her show on Saturday, talked down on people who had criticism of President Biden’s prison swap.

To the show host and her guest Jotaka Eaddy, people who do not think Biden made an excellent choice exchanging NBA star Brittney Star for a dangerous prisoner like arms dealer Victor Bout are racist homophobes.

Prior to the release, Bout was serving a 25-year sentence after being convicted of aiding a terrorist organization, conspiracy to kill Americans, and conspiracy to deliver anti-aircraft missiles. Widely known as the “merchant of death,” he had only served 11 years of the sentence.

Despite the notoriety of the released Russian and Republican lawmakers’ arguments about what the terms of the release mean for America’s future, Menendez believes that Griner’s release is “undeniably good news.” “It should have been a cause for unified celebration,” she asserted.

Eaddy had chipped in to say that it is “simply un-American to have criticism” when “an American who has been wrongfully detained, spend 294 years in a Russian penal colony, come home.”

Apparently, she was referring to the “294 days” Griner spent in prison after Russian authorities found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage while she was in the country to play for Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg.

Efforts to have her acquitted failed, and in August, a Russian court handed her a nine-year sentence with a fine of approximately $16,500.

The United States, under President Biden’s administration, had chosen to bargain for Griner’s release over former Marine and longtime Russian prisoner Paul Whelan, who was imprisoned since 2018 on allegations that he was involved in an intelligence operation.

Whelan is serving out a 16-year sentence handed out to him in June 2020. While he harbored hopes that he would be out and back to his country soon, he might be left to ride out the entirety of his sentence in light of Biden’s priorities.

Biden has faced heavy criticism for failing to secure Whelan’s release as well when he made the deal to have Griner released. To some Republicans, Griner’s release should not have received priority over Whelan’s. Griner’s color, many believe, as well as her status as a married lesbian and her political standing as an assertive liberal got her on the other side of the prison bar and on the plane back home.

Aside from arguments over who should have been released, there are fears that the exchange placed the United States in a less powerful position. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told FOX News in a recent interview that the exchange with Bout made the nation weaker. “It’s made Putin stronger, and it’s made Americans more vulnerable,” he stated.