Biden meets with families of Whelan, Griner at White House

by | Sep 17, 2022 | Sports

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden met Friday with family members of WNBA star Brittney Griner and another American detained in Russia, Paul Whelan, the first face-to-face encounter that the president has had with the relatives.In a statement after the meetings, which were held separately, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden stressed to the families his “continued commitment to working through all available avenues to bring Brittney and Paul home safely.”“He asked after the well-being of Elizabeth and Cherelle and their respective families during this painful time,” Jean-Pierre said. “The President appreciated the opportunity to learn more about Brittney and Paul from those who love them most, and acknowledged that every minute they are being held is a minute too long.”Still, administration officials have said the meetings were not an indication that negotiations with Russia for their release have reached a breakthrough. Earlier Friday, John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said that Russia has not responded to what administration officials have called a substantial and serious offer to secure Griner and Whelan’s release. “The president is not going to let up,” Kirby told reporters. “He’s confident that this is going to remain in the forefront of his mind and his team’s mind, and they’re going to continue to work as hard as they can.” Griner has been held in Russia since February on drug-related charges. She was sen …

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