Latest Prisoner Swap Was A Huge Win For Putin’s Propaganda

( Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) criticized the “lopsided” deal, calling it a “major propaganda victory” for Russia’s leader, following the release of former WNBA star Brittney Griner from Russian custody in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, dubbed “the Merchant of Death.”

Waltz, a native of Florida and the 6th congressional district’s representative in the Sunshine State, accused the president of allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to “dictate” the conditions of the most recent prisoner swap.

By letting the Russians dictate the terms for swapping the Vicktor “Merchant of Death” Bout for Brittney Griner, Biden, according to him, “just delivered a major propaganda victory for Putin.”

The Russian government and state media welcomed Bout’s release, referring to it variously as a “New Year gift” for a “wonderful person.”

Waltz, a former White House and Pentagon policy adviser, and the first Green Beret to be elected to Congress, insisted that current administration officials have a history of making such decisions. Waltz is a colonel in the National Guard as well.

He referred to the five high-risk Taliban commanders released by the Obama administration in exchange for kidnapped U.S. Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl in 2014, saying officials in the Biden Administration, dating back to the Obama years, have repeatedly made lopsided deals for hostages with authoritarians and terrorist groups.

The fifth member was appointed as the Taliban’s governor for the province of Khost, making them the top officials in its “caretaker” government.

The missing soldier was later charged with “betrayal not just of one’s country but also of one’s brothers in arms” by Waltz, a Special Forces commander in Afghanistan at the time of the kidnapping and a member of the search team for Bergdahl. This was undoubtedly because the search for Bergdahl resulted in the deaths of servicemen.

Additionally, he said  that former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan “deserves better from leaders in Washington.” Paul Whelan was imprisoned in Russia in 2018 under suspicion of “espionage,” He was noticeably left out of the most recent prisoner exchange.

He concluded by saying it’s time this administration make significant changes to its hostage policies, including raising the penalties for those who dare attempt to detain Americans illegally.

Former President Donald Trump called the swap “stupid” and an “embarrassment.”