MacCallum's Grilling of John Kirby Exposed How Twisted Biden Team Was on Griner Deal

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

We’ve seen a lot of reactions to the swap of “Merchant of Death” Viktor Bout for basketball player Brittney Griner.

But perhaps one of the worst takes had to be from National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby.


Fox’s Martha MacCallum asked him if they even considered what effect the swap would have, “This kind of policy of letting people go who are dangerous in order to get Americans back. Does it not encourage more abductions, more taking prisoners in order to use them to get these people back?”

Exactly. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. But Kirby’s response was ridiculous. Watch MacCallum’s eyebrows go up to his answer.

“To some degree, Martha, that ship has sailed,” Kirby insisted. “I mean, this is not a new tactic for Mr. Putin. This idea of wrongfully detaining Americans in return for, in-to try to get somebody else back or to get some other concession. This is part of Mr. Putin’s playbook. Uh, so we made this calculation, it was a tough decision. Uh, but it was a better, it was a better decision than doing nothing. Because it was either getting Brittney out using Mr. Bout or get nobody out. And I think we can all agree it’s better to have Brittney Griner soon on American soil rather than spending years and years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit.”


So wait a second. He’s saying because it’s “not a new tactic” for Putin, we should just concede to Putin’s demands. And no, I’m not sure that everyone would agree with the decision precisely because it does endanger Americans in the future, not to mention the great danger that the release of Bout presents, as I wrote about earlier. Kirby makes it sound like the Biden team just rolled over because Putin and his people insisted. Yes, they had another choice, which is not to cave, or if they were going to deal with terrorists, get everyone they could. But they made a bad choice all around, caving and allowing themselves to be dictated to by Putin. That even has a broader bad effect just beyond the hostage question itself — it again shows Putin how weak the Biden team is. And just a note, Griner pled guilty to the charge, she wasn’t just pulled off the street, although she certainly was being used as a political pawn in the tensions by Russia.

NBC ran a report that Biden might have had other choices, including that they could have gotten Whelan rather than Griner. But then NBC pulled that report back. We saw NBC do something similar in the Paul Pelosi attack case and it leaves you wondering if the reports were wrong or if they got political heat to pull what was the truth.

Kirby was asked the same question about encouraging more detention/kidnappings of Americans by NBC’s Chuck Todd. Todd asked if the Biden team was good with negotiating with terrorists, given in the past the U.S. policy had always been to not negotiate with terrorists, exactly because of the danger which it presented. Not only did Kirby indicate that they were cool with negotiating with terrorists, he said they were doing it now. In multiple cases around the world.


The Russians knew that they could run right over Biden and that’s a danger to us all.


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