Brittney Griner updates: Athlete has reunited with her wife
Brittney Griner was swapped for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
The U.S. has swapped WNBA star Brittney Griner for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to a senior U.S. official.
The basketball star was taken into custody at a Moscow area airport in February in possession of vaping cartridges containing hashish oil, an illegal substance in Russia.
Griner pleaded guilty in July and was sentenced to nine years in prison on Aug. 7. She appealed the sentence, but was quickly rejected in October.
Brittney Griner has reunited with her wife
Brittney Griner and her wife, Cherelle Griner, have now seen each other in person, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed at Friday’s press briefing.
“She has been reunited with her wife, Cherelle. U.S officials who met her on the ground said she was in very good spirits, appears to be in good health," Jean-Pierre said. “She was immediately taken to Brooke Army Medical Center [in San Antonio] where she is being offered a range of support options.”
Jean-Pierre did not give a timeline on when Griner might return home to Arizona.
"Every individual is different and those decisions are up to them and their families,” she said. “Typically upon arrival, people are offered a wide range of additional support, including full medical checkup, a mental health checkup.”
-ABC News’ Sarah Kolinovsky
Viktor Bout gives 1st interview since release
Convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was traded for Brittney Griner and is now home in Russia, told Russian state-owned media outlet RT, “thank God” the exchange happened.
Asked about his first feelings at home, Bout replied: “Feelings need to be dealt with. We need to find more words to describe it all."
Bout noted that he didn’t see any anti-Russia sentiments from prison staff.
-ABC News’ Will Gretsky
Video shows Griner’s wife hearing she’s on her way home
The White House has shared video of the moment Thursday morning when President Joe Biden told Cherelle Griner her wife was on the way home.
"She's on the ground," Biden told Griner as they hugged.
"Stop it," she replied.
'Yep. She's on the ground," Biden said as she hugged him again.
The video also shows Griner exclaim, "It’s just such a good day!” as Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken look on, beaming.
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle
Kirby says Griner ‘appears to be in good health’
Brittney Griner is “in very good spirits” and “appears to be in good health," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on MSNBC's “Morning Joe.”
"We've talked to our team on the ground who met her there [in San Antonio] as well as the team that traveled overseas with her on that airplane,” Kirby said. “She's now going to go to the treatment facility, she's going to get looked after by docs and nurses there, just to make sure everything is OK.”
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle