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Brittney Griner’s safe return home remains “a priority” for President Joe Biden, but White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre couldn’t say Tuesday if the president had any plans of speaking with the WNBA star’s family.
Griner sent a letter to the White House on Monday pleading with Biden to use his presidential powers to ensure her safe return, adding that she fears that she “might be here forever.”
Jean-Pierre confirmed during Tuesday’s press briefing that the president did read the letter but declined to comment on if Biden had any plans to speak with Griner’s family directly.
BRITTNEY GRINER CALLS ON WHITE HOUSE TO BRING HER, OTHER AMERICANS DETAINED IN RUSSIA HOME: ‘I MISS MY FAMILY’
“This is an issue that is a priority for this president. As you have heard us say before, he believes that any U.S. national that is held abroad or detained or held hostage abroad — we need to bring back safely, and we are going to use every tool that we possibly can to make that happen. Again, this is a priority for the president.”
“I just don’t have anything to share on what communication the president’s going to have with Mrs. Griner and her family,” she later added. “All I can confirm is that he’s read the letter, and he’s making this a priority.”
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Jean-Pierre, who reiterated that Griner is being “wrongfully detained,” said that Griner’s wife and family are in “constant communication” with the White House, most recently with national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“The president’s going to do everything that he can in his power to bring her home, along with other U.S. nationals who are being held wrongfully detained aboard,” Jean-Pierre said.
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Griner is in the middle of a trial that began Friday to determine her fate. Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and, unlike in U.S. courts, acquittals can be overturned.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.