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Biden meets with groups of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner stands behind bars in a courtroom for a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool Photo via AP)

President Biden met with the groups of WNBA star Brittney Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan on Friday, pledging his continued commitment to create both detained Americans home from Russia.

The President appreciated the chance to find out more about Brittney and Paul from those that love them most, and acknowledged that each minute they’re being held is really a minute too much time, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

Biden met with Whelans sister Elizabeth Whelan and Griners wife Cherelle Griner in separate meetings on Friday.

Most of us admire the courage of the Whelan and Griner families when confronted with these unimaginable circumstances, and we remain focused on reuniting them making use of their family members, Jean-Pierre added.

Griner, an Olympic gold medalist, was detained in Russia in February to carry vape cartridges with hashish oil, a kind 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.

Tags Americans detained abroadBidenBrittney GrinerBrittney GrinerBrittney GrinerCherelle GrinerElizabeth WhelanJoe BidenJoe BidenKarine Jean-PierrePaul WhelanPaul WhelanPaul Whelanrussiawrongfully detained

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