Dennis Rodman says he’ll go to Russia to seek Brittney Griner’s release

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
72,322
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Dennis Rodman, the Hall of Fame former basketball player and occasional diplomat, hopes to travel to Russia this week to seek the release of Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who has been sentenced to nine years in prison on a drug charge.

“I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl,” Rodman told NBC News on Saturday at a restaurant in D.C. “I’m trying to go this week.”

U.S. officials in May classified Griner, the two-time Olympic gold medalist who has been in custody since February, as “wrongfully detained,” a designation that indicated the government would take more aggressive steps to negotiate her release. Since then, she has been convicted and her representatives have appealed the sentence.

The efforts of Rodman would be “likely to complicate and hinder release efforts,” according to a senior Biden administration official, who asked not to identified because of the sensitivity of the situation.






In late July, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington had made a “substantial proposal” to Moscow for a prisoner exchange involving Griner, who plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, and Paul Whelan, who is serving a 16-year sentence after being convicted on espionage charges. Whelan says he was framed.
“It is public information that the Administration has made a significant offer to the Russians and anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to complicate and hinder release efforts,” the official said.
Brittney Griner’s Mercury tips off amid cries to ‘bring her home’
As for Rodman’s travel plans, a State Department spokesman pointed out that the department’s “Russia Travel Advisory remains at Level 4 — do not travel — due to a number of factors, including the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials, the singling out of U.S. citizens in Russia by Russian government security officials, including for detention, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia.” The spokesman asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation.



Griner pleaded guilty last month to carrying vape cartridges with cannabis oil when she entered the country, where she plays professionally during the WNBA’s offseason. Prosecutors contended that the 0.702 grams of cannabis found in her luggage after she landed at Sheremetyevo International Airport was a “significant amount.”
Speaking through a court interpreter before being sentenced, Griner said she made “an honest mistake under stress” as she packed hurriedly to travel to Russia and did not realize the vape cartridges were in her baggage.
Rodman, known for his stellar defense on the court and outlandish lifestyle off it, has delved into diplomacy several times over the past decade, particularly with regard to North Korea and Russia. He has made multiple trips to North Korea and has a friendship with its leader, Kim Jong Un. He traveled to Moscow in 2014 and called Russian President Vladimir Putin “cool.” When former president Donald Trump met with Kim in Singapore in 2018, Rodman was there. He also claimed credit for helping gain the release of American Kenneth Bae from North Korea.

 

Finance85

HR Legend
Oct 22, 2003
18,269
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I think Rodman will find dealing with Russians is a bit different than dealing with Kim Jong-un.

I wish the Biden Administration would agree that everyone convicted of possession of a small amount of drugs in the US is also wrongfully detained. Just think of how much money could be saved if all of those people were released,
 

CleteyColgate

HR Heisman
Nov 12, 2012
6,959
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I think Rodman will find dealing with Russians is a bit different than dealing with Kim Jong-un.

I wish the Biden Administration would agree that everyone convicted of possession of a small amount of drugs in the US is also wrongfully detained. Just think of how much money could be saved if all of those people were released,

Why doesn't Trump go? Other than failed trade deals that empowered China and ruined America's economy, I'm sure tough guy Trump will make a great deal with his fan boy idol, Putin
 

fsu1jreed

HR Legend
Apr 1, 2002
49,198
6,700
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I wish the Biden Administration would agree that everyone convicted of possession of a small amount of drugs in the US is also wrongfully detained. Just think of how much money could be saved if all of those people were released,

Completely agree
 

OutbackBowl2017

HR Heisman
Dec 4, 2016
9,231
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Enjoy the cell next to Brittany, Worm.

taken-liamneeson.gif
 
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Finance85

HR Legend
Oct 22, 2003
18,269
19,657
113
Why doesn't Trump go? Other than failed trade deals that empowered China and ruined America's economy, I'm sure tough guy Trump will make a great deal with his fan boy idol, Putin
And then Trump could be accused of violating the Hatch Act. That will work.
 

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