(Republicaninformer.com)- A video of Brittney Griner and Viktor Bout, also known as the “Merchant of Death,” is speculated to have been edited by the State Department after the athlete and arms dealer reportedly shook hands, according to Summit News. A weird cut occurs in the footage after Bout shakes the hand of an unknown man and Griner is seen leaning forward to offer hers. The cut is prompting many to question the authenticity of the footage.
Bout was convicted of terrorism charges a decade ago for reportedly attempting to sell missiles to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) worth tens of millions of dollars. The missiles were being bought explicitly to shoot down American military helicopters.
The optics of Griner going to shake hands with Bout is reportedly bad for the Biden administration, as they are already experiencing criticism for the trade that many are calling unfair. Many say that Biden should have also received a U.S. marine held in captivity.
Paul Whelan is currently still sitting in a Russian prison since 2018 after being accused of espionage. Former President Trump recently said that he chose not to release Bout for Whelan, but also criticized the Biden administration for the swap, taking to his social media platform, Truth Social, to say that Bout is responsible for tens of thousands of American lives and that Whelan should have been included in this deal.
Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also criticized Biden’s decision, calling it “deeply disturbing,” according to The Daily Wire.
Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre why Russia got a better deal to which she responded that it was either that or nothing. Another reportedly asked how this does not send a message to other authoritarian regimes that if they kidnap Americans, they can get their criminals back.