Paul Whelan’s Brother Calls Out Trump Over Biden Criticism
Former President Donald Trump was not “prepared to” or “interested in” working on Paul Whelan‘s release, according to Paul’s brother, David Whelan. David slammed Trump throughout the weekend after the former President criticized the Biden administration for the negotiated release of Brittney Griner.
Paul, who has been wrongfully detained by Russian officials for four years, is a former U.S. Marine. Two of his four years in prison were during Trump‘s presidential term.
“I think the first two years, partly I think the Trump administration was not prepared to or not interested in working on wrongful detention cases,” David told MSNBC.
David tweeted about Trump’s commentary on his brother.
“Former President Trump appears to have mentioned my brother #PaulWhelan‘s wrongful detention more in the last 24 hours than he did in the 2 years of his presidency,” David tweeted.
Former President Trump appears to have mentioned my brother #PaulWhelan's wrongful detention more in the last 24 hours than he did in the 2 years of his presidency in which Paul was held hostage by #Russia (zero). I don't suggest he cares now any more than he did then (zero) https://t.co/7lnSF0zJxL
— David Whelan (@davidpwhelan) December 9, 2022
David praised the Biden administration’s attempts to free wrongfully detained U.S. nationals.
“The Biden administration is much more engaged in wrongful detentions,” he said.
Paul’s detention has gained a lot of media attention following the release of Griner. She spent nine months in a Russian penal colony after being arrested on drug charges — she was found carrying a vape pen with a small dose of hashish oil.
The Biden administration negotiated Griner’s release with Russian officials, offering the “Merchant of Death,” Viktor Bout, in return. Bout served time in U.S. prison after being convicted of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and officials.
Bout profited from the collapse of the U.S.S.R., selling leftover weaponry from the fallen government to countries in conflict. Many of those countries — including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria — were engaged in violent conflict with the U.S.
Paul was sentenced to 16 years on espionage charges.
The Biden Administration remains adamant in its effort to secure Whelan’s release. Biden maintains that the Russians treated Paul’s case differently than Griner’s.
“We’re meeting today, Monday morning, to go through the next steps of the strategy, but Paul, we haven’t forgotten you; we’re coming to get you,” Roger Carstens, U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, told Good Morning America.
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