President Biden met with the families of WNBA star Brittney Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan on Friday, pledging his continued commitment to bring the two detained Americans home from Russia.
“The President appreciated the opportunity to learn more about Brittney and Paul from those who love them most, and acknowledged that every minute they are being held is a minute too long,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
Biden met with Whelan’s sister Elizabeth Whelan and Griner’s wife Cherelle Griner in separate meetings on Friday.
“We all admire the courage of the Whelan and Griner families in the face of these unimaginable circumstances, and we remain committed to reuniting them with their loved ones,” Jean-Pierre added.
Griner, an Olympic gold medalist, was detained in Russia in February for carrying vape cartridges with hashish oil, a form of cannabis. She was sentenced to nine years in prison in August.
Whelan was detained in the Russia in 2018 on spying charges and was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2020. The Biden administration contends that both are wrongfully detained.
Source: The Hill