What President Biden Told Brittney Griner's Wife After Reading WNBA Star's Letter

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with Brittney Griner's wife, Cherelle Griner, over the phone just days after the WNBA athlete penned and open letter to The White House.

By Emlyn Travis Jul 06, 2022 10:36 PMTags
Watch: Brittney Griner's Wife Fears She'll "Never" See Her Again

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are showing their unwavering support for WNBA star Brittney Griner.  

On July 6, Biden and Harris spoke to the athlete's wife Cherelle Griner over the phone and reassured her "that he is working to secure Brittney's release as soon as possible" after Brittney was arrested in Russia on suspicion of smuggling narcotics on Feb. 17, according to a readout obtained by NBC News.  

"The President offered his support to Cherelle and Brittney's family," the statement read. "He committed to ensuring they are provided with all possible assistance while his administration pursues every avenue to bring Brittney home."  

Biden told Cherelle that he is "working to secure Brittney's release as soon as possible, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other U.S. nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the world." Additionally, he read her a "draft of the letter" that he plans to send to Brittney today.  

"Terrified" Brittney Griner Pens Open Letter to President Joe Biden From Russian Prison

Their conversation comes amidst ongoing talks between Cherelle and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to have Brittney, who is described in the statement as being "wrongfully detained in Russia under intolerable circumstances," released.   

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In an open letter to The White House received on July 4, Brittney shared her fear that she'd be prison "forever" and asked Biden not to "forget about me and the other American Detainees" that are being held in custody in foreign countries around the globe. 

"On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran," she wrote. "It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year."  

In the letter, the Phoenix Mercury star, who plays for a Russian team during the WNBA off-season, also named the people she misses most.  

"I miss my wife!" she wrote. "I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home."  

Brittney was arrested at an airport in Moscow back in February for allegedly having vape cartridges, which contained hashish oil, in her baggage. After making an appearance during a pre-trial hearing in May, Brittney was in court for her first trial date on July 1, but did not enter a plea at the time.  

Brittney's next hearing is set for July 7. If found guilty, she faces up to 10 years in jail.   

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