Jul 7, 2022
Brittney Griner set to appear in Russian court after Biden, Harris call Transcript
WNBA Star Brittney Griner is set to appear in a Russian court on 7/07/22. Read the transcript here.
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Dana Jacobson: (00:00)
Welcome back to CBS Mornings. We continue to follow what the State Department is calling the wrongful detainment of Brittney Griner. That’s the WNBA star who’s been in Russian custody since February. This morning, we’re learning the Russian foreign ministry is saying it is quote, “Difficult at the moment to engage in any kind of prisoner exchange with the US.” In Phoenix last night, Griner’s fans rallied to demand her freedom to bring her home. At Ed O’Keefe is following developments from the White House. Ed, good morning,
Ed O’Keefe: (00:29)
Dana, good morning. Good to see you. As you said, supporters sat at her home court last night ahead of her second scheduled court appearance today in a Moscow area courtroom.
Cherelle Griner: (00:40)
Truthfully, I can’t rest as her humanity has been stripped from her
Ed O’Keefe: (00:45)
Supporters of the 31-year-old basketball star gathered at Footprint Center, home of her WNBA team the Phoenix Mercury to rally for Brittney Griner’s return home. Griner’s wife, Cherelle address the crowd.
Cherelle Griner: (00:57)
I’m frustrated that 140 days have passed since my wife has been able to speak to me, to our family, and to her friends. I’m frustrated that my wife is not going to get justice.
Ed O’Keefe: (01:14)
The rally came after the star Olympian penned an Independence Day letter to the president who read it and responded with a phone call to Cherelle. The White House says, “The president told her he’s working to ensure the release of Brittney, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other US nationals who were wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the world.”
Elizabeth Whelan: (01:34)
Why the outreach to some families and not others?
Ed O’Keefe: (01:37)
That statement sparked criticism from Whelan’s sister who says the president hasn’t called her family directly about securing her brother’s release.
Elizabeth Whelan: (01:44)
Whoever thought this was a good idea has to remember that other families with far less resources have been waiting for years and years to see some action to bring their loved ones home.
Ed O’Keefe: (01:55)
Paul Whelan is serving a 16-year sentence on an espionage charge ever since being detained in Russia in 2018. As for the president, he has said to have written a response to Brittney Griner in response to that letter she sent him on Independence Day, but the White House has not yet revealed the contents of that message. Dana.
Dana Jacobson: (02:15)
All right, Ed. Thank you.