Elon Musk is showing America what it looks like to be on offense.— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 12, 2022
I hope our Republican lawmakers are taking notes.
American officials will hold talks “this week” with Russian leaders about negotiations to release former Marine Paul Whelan, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday.
“With respect to the question of whether we’ve had engagement with the Russian Federation on the Whelan case, we will have an engagement with them this week,” Sullivan told reporters.
Although Whelan was court-martialed and was given a bad-conduct discharge, he is still a "Marine" or "ex-Marine" to Republicans, who have been unsparing in their criticism of the President. Representative Banks remarked “Biden just returned the ‘Merchant of Death,’ an international arms dealer convicted of conspiring to kill Americans, to Putin and left former Marine Paul Whelan, who has been unjustly detained for over four years, to rot in a Russian prison." The price of freeing Whelan has been bid up, as Republicans have anticipated.
Reportedly, "according to a senior Biden administration official," Russia is willing to discuss Whelan because "they have things they want in the world." Reportedly, that is Vadim Krasikov, "a former colonel in Russia's domestic spy organization serving a life sentence for murder in Germany." However Washington is balking at releasing an individual in foreign custody who is described by Secretary of State spokesman John Kirby as an "assassin."
Vladimir Putin cannot help but realize that, having gained the release of Griner and confronted with harsh accusations from Republicans for not doing the same for an ex-Marine, President Biden has been painted into a corner. Freedom for Paul Whelan won't come cheap.