John Bolton Says Biden’s Prisoner Swap Is “Surrender”

( On Thursday, former ambassador John Bolton claimed that the prisoner swap that President Joe Biden’s administration negotiated to free WNBA star Brittney Griner was a grave error and a gift to Vladimir Putin of Russia.

In the dead of night, the administration announced that a deal had been reached with Russia in which Viktor Bout, a convicted international arms dealer, would be handed over in exchange for Griner’s release. Though many had hoped for it, the agreement did not include the release of former US Marine Paul Whelan, who is currently being held in Russia as a hostage on false spying charges.

John Bolton, who served as the National Security Adviser for the entirety of the Trump administration, was interviewed by hosts Anne-Marie Green and Vladimir Duthiers in a weighty discussion that lasted more than ten minutes and aired on CBS News Streaming Network (CBSN) on Thursday.

Bolton was asked first by Duthiers for his opinion and an explanation of how negotiations proceed in such circumstances. Bolton denounced the swap, labeling the administration’s efforts to make a deal “desperate.” Duthiers also questioned Bolton about his response and an explanation of how negotiations function in such circumstances.

Bolton stated that while getting Griner released undoubtedly evokes a great deal of human emotion that is entirely understandable, the Biden administration made a terrible error.

This was not a good deal, he said. It was not “a swap,” he declared emphatically. “This is a surrender.”

He claimed that terrorists and rogue states worldwide would take note of this, putting other Americans in danger and making them targets for those who don’t share our values and moral principles.

When questioned about Bout, Bolton declined to discuss specifics about the arms dealer but gave a sober assessment of how risky the trade might be. He also claimed that while he was in the White House, there was a chance of trading Bout for Whelan, but the deal “wasn’t made for very good reasons.” Bolton declined to get into the specifics of the failed deal.

“This is a great triumph for Moscow over Washington,” Bolton said in closing.