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Donald Trump once spurned deal to swap Viktor Bout for Paul Whelan, trolls say 'trade Trump for Whelan'

'Why did you let Paul Whelan sit in a Russian prison for 2 years while you were president? I thought you owned Putin?' asked a user, slamming Trump
Donald Trump reportedly turned down a deal to trade Viktor Bout (inset) for Paul Whelan (R) earlier (Chet Strange/Getty Images, Abc23 screenshot/ YouTube, Chumsak Kanoknan/ Getty Images)
Donald Trump reportedly turned down a deal to trade Viktor Bout (inset) for Paul Whelan (R) earlier (Chet Strange/Getty Images, Abc23 screenshot/ YouTube, Chumsak Kanoknan/ Getty Images)

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Former National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed on Thursday, December 8, in a CBS interview that former POTUS Donald Trump has turned down the attempts by Russia to trade Paul Whelan for “Merchant of Death” arms dealer Viktor Bout.

“The possibility of a Bout-for-Whelan trade existed back then. And it wasn’t made, for very good reasons having to deal with Viktor Bout,” Bolton told CBS. The former security officer, Whelan, was sentenced in June 2020 to 16 years in prison. Meanwhile, the US authorities have claimed that the president's administration wanted to secure the release of both Whelan and Griner. However, Moscow rejected the same.


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Bolton said in the interview, “Obviously, there’s a lot of very understandable human emotion here in getting Griner released, but this is a very bad mistake by the Biden administration." Bout was convicted of all charges in 2011 for conspiring to kill people in America by supplying a Columbian terrorist group with weapons. He added, “This is not a deal. This is not a swap. This is a surrender. And terrorists and rogue states all around the world will take note of this, and it endangers other Americans in the future who can be grabbed and used as bargaining chips by people who don’t have the same morals and scruples that we do."

White House National Security Advisor John Bolton talks to reporters outside of the White House West Wing April 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. Bolton answered questions about the security and political turmoil in Venezuela and called for a peaceful transition to a government controlled by acting President Juan Guaido.
White House National Security Advisor John Bolton (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

He later claimed, "There are occasions when you swap spies. Obviously, there are legitimate exchanges of prisoners of war,” he continued. “But this doesn’t even approximate that. The idea that somehow what Brittney Griner did, very foolishly, in my estimate, but that whatever she did compares to Viktor Bout is something that shows just how desperate the administration was to make this deal. And I’m just very worried about the effect it has and the danger that it can put many other Americans in, all around the world.” 

Viktor Bout sits inside a detention cell at Bangkok Supreme Court on July 28, 2008, in Bangkok, Thailand. A Thai court postponed the extradition hearing, for a second time, of Viktor Bout, after his attorney failed to turn up on Monday for the hearing to extradite Bout to the U.S. to face terrorism charges in connection to alleged arms smuggling.
Viktor Bout was released in the recent prison swap (Chumsak Kanoknan/ Getty Images)

“It’s the kind of thing that says to terrorists and rogue states and other malign actors who would consider kidnapping or seizing Americans, that we’re willing to trade almost anything to get Americans back,” he said. “There are other ways to deal with hostage-takers through sanctions and other things, not swaps like this one.”

Donald Trump's note on Truth Social (Donald Trump/ Truth Social)
Donald Trump's note on Truth Social (Donald J Trump/ Truth Social)

Meanwhile, Trump also stated his views on Truth Social regarding the swap on Thursday, December 8. He noted, “ What kind of a deal is it to swap Brittney Griner, a basketball player who openly hates our Country, for the man known as "The Merchant of Death," who is one of the biggest arms dealers anywhere in the World, and responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and horrific injuries." He further added, " Why wasn't former Marine Paul Whelan included in this totally one-sided transaction? He would have been let out for the asking. What a "stupid" and unpatriotic embarrassment for the USA!!!." 

'How about we trade Donald Trump for Paul Whelan?'

The Internet quickly reacted to not releasing Whelan instead of Grinner. A user said, "I hate being forced to agree with TFG though. It's easy to criticize others but the deal is definitely spineless and the character picture of the Biden executive branch keeps getting more pathetic." Another added, "Dear Donald, Why did you let Paul Whelan sit in a Russian prison for 2 years while you were president? I thought you owned Putin? Now you criticize for something you could not accomplish yourself? On brand."

A user stated, "Chump also brought home Otto Warmbier in a vegetative state while exchanging love letters with the North Korea leader." A user claimed, "I think his freedom should become limited in the coming year. I look forward to the day I no longer have to hear anything from him." Another added, "He just hates that Biden is better than him in every conceivable way and 1000x better at this job."

A tweet read, "How about we trade Donald Trump for Paul Whelan? Think that would make everybody happy." "In order of priority, Biden has to fix the southern border first," claimed a tweet.  Another wrote, "Would think getting a marine home should be more of a priority than a basketball player." A user wrote, "Yes it was.... they chose the person who would give them more political clout, not the person who fought for our country."










This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.