Brittney Griner released from Russia in prisoner swap

ABC News' Mary Bruce reports on the Biden administration securing the release of WNBA superstar Brittney Griner from Russia following her 294-day detention.
1:47 | 12/09/22

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Transcript for Brittney Griner released from Russia in prisoner swap
 PAUL WHELAN. HE HAS BEEN UNJUSTLY DETAINED IN RUSSIA FOR YEARS. THIS WAS NOT A CHOICE OF WHICH AMERICAN TO BRING HOME. SADLY, FOR TOTALLY ILLEGITIMATE REASONS, RUSSIA IS TREATING PAUL WHELAN'S CASE DIFFERENTLY THAN BRITTNEY GRINER'S. AND WHILE WE HAVE NOT YET SUCCEEDED IN GETTING CALLS RELEASED, WE DID NOT GIVE UP. WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP. >> THE PRESIDENT RESOLUTE THERE. MARY BRUCE JOINS US NOW FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. MARY, WHAT MORE CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE PAINSTAKING PROCESS TO GET GRINER HOME? >> PAINSTAKING IS THE RIGHT WORD. -- MONTHS AT ALL LEVELS, NEGOTIATING BETWEEN THE U. S. AND THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT. AND OF COURSE, WE KNOW THAT THE PRESIDENT INITIALLY PUT ON THE TABLE THAT OFFER, LOOKING TO GET BOTH AMERICANS RELEASED IN EXCHANGE FOR VIKTOR BOUT. THAT DIDN'T END UP HAPPENING. OF COURSE, RUSSIA REJECTING THAT DEAL -- AND THE PRESIDENT TODAY MADE CLEAR, THIS IS A VERY DIFFICULT DECISION ALL. OF THIS JUST COMING TOGETHER OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS -- THE PRESIDENT, OF COURSE, MAKING THE FINAL DECISION TO GO AHEAD WITH THIS ONE FOR ONE SWAMP, JUST WITHIN THE LAST WEEK. GRINER'S WIFE JUST LEARNING OF THIS TODAY, WITH THIS FINALLY GOING TO HAPPEN, THAT BRITTNEY GRINER WAS GOING TO COME HOME. AND OF COURSE, WHAT CHANGED IS REALLY RUSSIA MAKING A VERY CLEAR THAT THEY WERE NOT GOING TO ALLOW A SWAP FOR PAUL WHELAN TO BE ON THE TABLE, AND BRITTNEY GRINER WAS THE ONLY ONE THEY WERE WILLING TO NEGOTIATE OVER AT THIS TIME. >> AND WITH REGARD TO PAUL WHELAN, YOU PRESS THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY AGAIN ON THIS. THE WHITE HOUSE SAYS IT IS TRYING TO GET HIM HOME. BUT IT WOULD APPEAR TO BE FAR MORE DIFFICULT OF AN EXCHANGE THEN GRINER. >> THEY REPEATEDLY HAVE SAID TODAY THAT RUSSIA SIMPLY IS TREATING PAUL WHELAN THE'S CASE VERY DIFFERENTLY THAN THEY DO BRITTNEY GRINER, BECAUSE THEY HAVE, IN THE WHITE HOUSE'S TERMS, CHARGED HIM WITH THESE SHAM ESPIONAGE CHARGES. THEY ARE TREATING HIM DIFFERENTLY. THEY'RE PUTTING HIM IN A DIFFERENT CATEGORY. THAT'S WHY THEY WERE NOT WILLING TO HAVE THE SAME KIND OF NEGOTIATIONS. NOW OF COURSE WE HAVE HEARD FROM

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