Biden Speaks With Wife Of Basketball Star Imprisoned In Russia After Complaints That He’s Ignored Cries For Help

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden spoke with WNBA star Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, on Wednesday and reassured her that he’s “working to secure Brittney’s release.”

Griner was arrested in February after allegedly being in possession of cannabis oil and has been held in a Russian jail for months since being detained, according to The New York Times.

With Griner’s trial in Russia already underway, Biden’s call with her wife comes just one day after Cherelle Griner revealed to CBS News that she had not yet heard anything from the president regarding the situation. (RELATED: WNBA Star Brittney Griner’s Pre-Trial Detention Extended A Month In Russia)

“The President called Cherelle to reassure her that he is working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other U.S. nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the world. He also read her a draft of the letter the President is sending to Brittney Griner today,” according to a White House readout of the call.

Vice President Kamala Harris was also on the call, according to the administration.

“The President offered his support to Cherelle and Brittney’s family, and he committed to ensuring they are provided with all possible assistance while his administration pursues every avenue to bring Brittney home,” the readout of the call added. “Today’s call follows recent calls that National Security Advisor Sullivan and Secretary of State Blinken have had with Cherelle in recent weeks and this past weekend.”

Biden, according to the administration, also “directed his national security team to remain in regular contact with” Griner’s family “and with other families of Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad.”

Earlier in the week, Griner sent Biden a handwritten letter from jail. In it, Griner pleaded for his help, writing that she’s “terrified” she “might be here forever.” (RELATED: ‘I Voted For You’: Basketball Star Imprisoned Abroad Pleads With Biden To Bring Her Home)

“I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home,” Griner wrote, according to Fox News.