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Sen. Cruz Responds To Biden’s Decision To Release Russian Terrorist In Exchange For WNBA Player

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Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) has responded to the news of WNBA player Brittney Griner’s release, saying in a statement that it was “concerning” that President Biden released a WNBA player in exchange for a notorious Russian arms dealer.

“It’s heartening to hear Brittney Griner has been released and will be reunited with her friends and family in the United State,” the statement said. “Nevertheless, it’s concerning that the Biden administration has released Viktor Bout in what was clearly a blackmail demand. Bout is one of the most dangerous men in the world and an arms dealer who conspired to kill Americans and aid terrorists, and his release makes every American less safe — so does the manner of his release, which will encourage terrorists and rogue regimes to seize more Americans as hostages.”

The statement also noted that Paul Whelan, a former Marine, has been jailed in Russia since December 2018 on baseless espionage charges and still remains in Russian captivity.

“Moreover, despite the incalculable value of Bout to Putin, the Biden administration was unable to secure the release of other Americans still held in Russia, including Paul Whelan and Marc Fogel,” the statement said.

After his release, the notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout – also known as the “Merchant of Death” – joined Russia’s ultranationalist political party and praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose portrait he said he kept displayed in his cell during his imprisonment.

“I am proud that I am a Russian person, and Putin is our president,” Bout told Maria Butina – a former spy on the U.S. for Russia who is now a self-declared journalist – during an interview with the Russia-controlled RT News.

Bout also discussed his thoughts on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying, “I know that we will win.”

“Why did we not do it earlier?” Bout said of Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

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