Brittney Griner released from Russian prison

After the WNBA star was released from Russia in a prisoner swap for arms dealer Viktor Bout, "The View" co-hosts discuss how this move impacts fellow American Paul Whelan.
9:20 | 12/08/22

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Transcript for Brittney Griner released from Russian prison
WELCOME TO "THE VIEW," Y'ALL. WELCOME TO "THE VIEW." IT IS A GREAT WAY TO START THE SHOW. TEN MONTHS AFTER SHE WAS IN CAPTIVITY WNBA STAR BRITTNEY GRINER HAS BEEN RELEASED FROM A RUSSIAN PRISON. [ APPLAUSE ] YEAH. PRESIDENT BIDEN SPOKE RIGHT BEFORE THE SHOW WITH A PROMISE TO OTHER AMERICAN PRISONERS LIKE PAUL WHELAN AND BRITTNEY'S WIFE CHERELLE WAS THERE. TAKE A LOOK. IT'S GREAT. >> I SPOKE WITH BRITTNEY GRINER. SHE'S SAFE, SHE'S ON A PLANE, SHE'S ON HER WAY HOME. AFTER MONTHS OF BEING UNJUSTLY DETAINED IN RUSSIA, WE NEVER FORGOT ABOUT BRITTNEY. WE'VE NOT FORGOTTEN ABOUT PAUL WHELAN WHO'S BEEN UNJUSTLY DETAINED FOR YEARS. THIS WAS NOT A CHOICE OF WHICH AMERICAN TO BRING HOME. FOR TOTALLY ILLEGITIMATE REASONS, RUSSIA IS TREATING PAUL'S CASE DIFFERENT THAN BRITTNEY'S, AND WHILE WE HAVE NOT SECURED PAUL'S RELEASE, WE ARE NOT GIVING UP. >> TODAY MY FAMILY IS WHOLE, BUT AS YOU ARE ALL AWARE, THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER FAMILIES WHO ARE NOT. THANK YOU, EVERYBODY, FOR YOUR SUPPORT, AND TODAY IS JUST A HAPPY DAY FOR ME AND MY FAMILY. SO I'M GOING TO SMILE RIGHT NOW. [ APPLAUSE ] >> AND IN EXCHANGE, VIKTOR BOUT. THIS WAS A DIPLOMATIC WIN FOR THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION, BUT A BIGGER WIN FOR UNITED STATES. IT'S A BIGGER WIN FOR US, THE PEOPLE. >> YEAH. >> WHEN I HEARD THIS, LOOK. I, YOU KNOW, WE'VE BEEN ON THIS. >> YEAH. >> ESPECIALLY HER. WE HAVE BEEN ON THIS, AND LET'S MAKE SURE WE DO THE SAME FOR PAUL WHELAN. WE'RE GOING TO STAY ON IT AND NEVER FORGET THAT HE'S THERE. [ APPLAUSE ] WE'LL KEEP IT IN THE ZEITGEIST BECAUSE I FEEL THAT THAT WORKS. >> IT DOES WORK, AND WHOOPI KNOWS I'M A MEMBER OF THE WNBA BOARD OF ADVOCATES. MY DAUGHTER PLAYED BASKETBALL FOR MANY YEARS. I PLAYED BASKETBALL, AND IT WAS JUST -- I THINK IT HIGHLIGHTS WHY OUR WOMEN NEED TO BE PAID THEIR VALUE IN SPORTS BECAUSE THAT'S WHY SHE WAS OVER THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. >> MM-HMM. >> BUT I WILL SAY THIS, YOU KNOW, I WAS ON PHONE CALLS WITH THE WHITE HOUSE, AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE WNBA PLAYERS ASSOCIATION, AND THE WHITE HOUSE HAS BEEN WORKING ON THIS EVERY SINGLE DAY. >> FROM DAY ONE. >> SECRETARY BLINKIEN WAS IN CONTACT WITH US, AND I SORT OF FELT LIKE THEY WERE GETTING SHORT TRIPPED. THEY'RE NOT WORKING ON IT, THEY'RE NOT WORKING ON IT WHEN WHOOPI AND I KNEW ALL ALONG THEY WERE WORKING ON IT. WE WERE SPEAKING WITH THEM, AND THEY ARE WORKING ON PAUL, AND IT'S SO UNFAIR AND HE'S BEEN THERE A LONG TIME. HE'S A POLITICAL PRISONER. >> WE'RE NOT GOING TO FORGET. WE'RE GOING TO REMIND AMERICANS EVERY DAY THAT HE'S THERE, AND THAT HE NEEDS TO COME BACK. >> WE MUST. >> DON'T WANT THAT FAMILY TO THINK THAT WE'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION. I'M SORRY, JOY. >> I THINK THEY TRADED HER FOR A REALLY BAD GUY. >> THEY DID. >> WHAT I WAS THINKING, IS WHY DID PUTIN DO THAT? , YOU KNOW? WHY DO IT. THIS GUY, BOUT, HE WAS REALLY A BAD GUY. >> MERCHANT OF DEATH. >> HE WAS VERY MUCH IN CAHOOTS WITH PUTIN AND THE RUSSIAN WHATEVER THEY ARE, AND -- >> PUTIN'S LOSING. >> THE OTHER THING IS PUTIN IS DOING REALLY SUCH A DISASTROUS THING IN THE UKRAINE, I THINK, OR IN UKRAINE -- THEY DON'T LIKE THE UKRAINE. THAT'S NOT RIGHT. IN UKRAINE, THAT I THINK EVEN THE RUSSIANS WERE TURNING ON HIM. >> THEY'RE TURNING ON HIM. >> HE DID SOMETHING FOR THE COUNTRY AND I THINK IT'S SOMETHING LIKE THAT GOING ON. >> IS HE SOMEONE WHO COULD HELP PUTIN IN THE UKRAINE? >> ONE MORE THING. THE GUY WAS IN PRISON HERE FOR MANY YEARS AND SAID NOTHING. THAT ALSO TELLS THE RUSSIANS THE MOTHERLAND IS SAFE FOR SNITCHES AND BIG MOUTHS. >> TEN YEARS HE WAS IN PRISON. >> THE BRITTNEY GRINER NEWS IS INCREDIBLE. I WAS THINKING ABOUT CHERELLE, AND SHE WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN KEEPING ATTENTION ON HER CASE. IT'S GOOD NEWS ANY TIME AN AMERICAN COMES HOME FROM BEING WRONGLY DETAINED ABROAD. THANK YOU FOR MENTIONING PAUL WHELAN. HE'S BEEN THERE SINCE 2018. FORMER MARINE CORPS, AND SERVED OUR COUNTRY, AND IT'S A TRAGIC CASE, BUT WHAT I WANT TO HIGHLIGHT HERE, I THINK THIS IS A GOOD THING WE SHOLD CELEBRATE, BUT IT'S NOT AN EQUAL SWAP. THIS IS A MAN WHO WAS -- >> YEAH. >> -- PLOTTING AND CONSPIREING AGAINST AMERICANS TO KILL THEM. HE'S CALLED THE MERCHANT OF DEATH BECAUSE HE'S BASICALLY BEEN SOMEBODY WHO KBGOES AROUND THE WORLD AND COLLECTS WEAPONRY. HE WILL BE A BOON IN THE EFFORT AGAINST UKRAINE AND A BIG DOMESTIC ONE FOR PUTIN WHEN HE'S IN THE WEAKEST PLACE HE'S BEEN IN DECADES. THAT'S THE THING THAT GIVES ME PAUSE HERE. >> ARE YOU OKAY WITH PRISONER SWAPS? I'M ALWAYS CONFLICTED. >> OOI'M ALWAYS CONFLICTED. I'M NOT IN THE GEORGE BUSH NEVER NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS BECAUSE SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO, BUT YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE THERE'S -- IT DOESN'T POSE TOO MUCH OF A RISK TO THE HOMELAND. I FEEL LIKE THIS IS A MAN WHO WILL HAVE THE BLOOD OF AMERICANS OR UKRAINIANS ON HIS HANDS. >> WHEN JOY SAID, WHY WOULD PUTIN DO THIS? IT TELLS YOU MORE ABOUT WHY THEY RETAINED HER. THIS BECOMES A CURRENCY WHEN YOU ARE TRAVELING ABROAD. AND PEOPLE, NOT JUST ATHLETES, NEED TO BE AWARE. IN NO INSTANCE DID THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME, BUT IT GAVE THEM A PAWN. >> WASN'T THERE A GIRL IN '18 OR '19 THAT HAD, LIKE, FOUR TIMES OR FIVE TIMES THE AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA OR THC? >> I DON'T KNOW IF I DID, BUT -- >> I THOUGHT IT WAS YOU, BUT AUDREY LAUBER IS HER NAME, AND SHE WAS FOUND GUILTY OF SMUGGLING 17 GRAMS OF THC INTO RUSSIA ON A FAMILY VACATION AND AFTER TWO MONTHS SHE WAS RELEASED. >> IN THIS CASE TOO, WHICH WE MENTIONED ON BRITTANY NEY GRINE SHE'S A LESBIAN, AND RUSSIA IS HOSTILE TO THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY. SHE WAS AT A PARTICULAR RISK. >> AND SHE'S A PUBLIC FIGURE. >> THAT'S WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY. SHE'S A PUBLIC FIGURE. ANY SWAP THAT YOU DO IS GOING TO BE TOUGH. >> YEAH. >> BECAUSE WE GOT BAD GUYS. THEY DON'T THINK THEY HAVE BAD GUYS, BUT, YOU KNOW -- OR THEY THINK THEY HAVE BAD GUYS. WE THINK WE HAVE BAD GUYS. IT'S NEVER GOING TO BE EQUAL. ALL I EVER THINK ABOUT IS WHO'S WAITING FOR THAT PERSON AT HOME. >> YEAH. >> BECAUSE WHEN YOU CAN'T GET AHOLD OF ANYBODY, AND YOU CAN'T GET ANYBODY TO GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO HOLD ONTO, IT CANNOT BE EASY. SO AS MUCH AS WE CAN BE CONCERNED, AND, YOU KNOW, WHAT I'M STARTING TO REALIZE IS IN THE OLD DAYS -- THOSE ARE THE OLD DAYS NOW FOR THAT GUY, WE WEREN'T PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TO A LOT OF STUFF. STUFF WAS HAPPENING, BUT WE WEREN'T CATCHING IT. WE'RE CATCHING STUFF NOW. WE'RE SEEING -- I FEEL LIKE WE'RE COMING BACK AND WE'RE SEEING WHERE STUFF IS HAPPENING, AND WE'RE BEING STRATEGIC. >> AND MAYBE SOCIAL MEDIA THAT'S GIVING US A LITTLE BIT OF THAT. >> MAYBE. >> I THINK WHAT GIVES ME SOME SOLACE ABOUT PAUL WHELAN IS HE'S A MARINE. >> MARINES ARE LIKE ROCKS. >> THEY'RE LIKE ROCKS. I HAVE MARINES IN MY FAMILY, AND SO HE'S GOT THAT TRAINING, AND THAT MENTAL FORTITUDE, BUT HE'S BEEN THERE FOUR YEARS. >> THIS BRITTNEY GRINER CASE BROUGHT A LOT OF EYES AS YOU'RE SAYING TO A CASE NOBODY KNEW ABOUT. I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT PAUL WHELAN UNTIL BRITTNEY GRINER. >> THAT'S A GOOD POINT. >> THERE'S A GOOD PART OF THIS SO WE CAN PUT THE EFFORT. >> THEY LIKE TO USE SPORTS FIGURES. >> THE OLYMPICS? >> I WAS READING ABOUT THE OLYMPICS WHEN WE WERE FIGHTING THE NAZIS AND HITLER USED A BLACK MAN. HE SAID HE'S GOING TO SHOW HOW SUPERIOR THE GERMAN RACE IS TO OTHER RACES, AND JESSE HELM -- >> NOT HIM. >> JESSE OWENS. HE WAS A SENATOR. JESSE OWENS KICKED THEIR BUTT. A BLACK RUNNER. >> YES. >> AND EMBARRASSED THEM. IT EMBARRASSED THEM. >> THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO PULL SOMETHING, BUT THEY COULDN'T. >> THERE'S A GREAT BOOK CALLED "DESTINED TO WITNESS: GROWING UP BLACK IN NAZI GERMANY." >> OH. >> IF YOU WANT TO KNOW THE OUTCOME, AND HOW BLACK FOLKS WHO WERE LIVING IN GERMANY AT THE TIME WERE FEELING ABOUT HEARING -- BECAUSE THE WAY THAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT THE BLACK ATHLETES, THEY SAID THE MONKEYS WERE COMING, AND AMERICANS WERE RELEASING MONKEYS TO RUN THE -- TO RUN THE RACE, AND THEN THIS AUTHOR'S -- ONE FULL AUTHOR SAYS, AND WE WENT TO THE MOVIES, AND THERE WERE THESE FOUR MEN WHO GOT OFF THE PLANE, AND HE SAID THEY WERE TALL, AND THEY WERE GREAT. THEY LOOKED LIKE MY UNCLES, AND THEY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH MONKEYS, AND PEOPLE SAW WHO WAS COMING. >> YEAH. >> AND HE SAID, THAT FOR HIM -- BECAUSE HE WAS A LITTLE KID THINKING THAT GERMANY HAD BEEN, YOU KNOW, BEATEN UP AND THEY NEEDED TO SHIFT. HE SAID, THAT WAS THE FIRST SHIFT HE UNDERSTOOD THAT THERE WAS -- THAT THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG IN WHAT HE WA

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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