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John Kirby: Griner swap ‘was the only deal we could get and now was the only moment we could get it’

White House National Security Council Communications Coordinator John Kirby joins Andrea Mitchell following the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner from Russian captivity in a prisoner swap for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, a deal that did not include wrongfully detained former Marine Paul Whelan. “The deal that we got with Miss Griner was the only deal we could get, and now was the only moment we could get it. So we took advantage of that to get one American home,” Kirby explains. “We are going to continue to have, as we do now have, conversations with the Russians about Mr. Whelan, and those are going to continue to go on as for as long as they have to until we get a successful outcome, until we can get him home.” He adds, “It’s a bittersweet day for sure.”

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