The twin brother of Paul Whelan said Trump was 'not interested' in cases of wrongfully detained Americans: 'Biden administration is much more engaged'
The brother of Paul Whelan, an ex-Marine who has been detained in Russia since 2018, said that former President Donald Trump was "not interested" in working towards securing the release of his twin.
"I think the Trump administration was not prepared to or not interested in working on wrongful detention cases," David Whelan said of the first two years of Trump being in office. He made the comment in an appearance on "MSNBC Reports" on Saturday. "The Biden administration is much more engaged in wrongful detentions."
Whelan told host Zinhle Essamuah that Biden's actions "have given the government more tools to help wrongful detainee families, but also to try to start to punish the nations who are doing that."
His comments come after WNBA player Brittney Griner was released from Russia following a prison swap exchange with notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout. Paul Whelan, who is being held on espionage charges, was not a part of the final deal, and Biden said that the country "is treating Paul's case differently" than Griner's.
Following the news of the prison swap, Trump criticized Biden for exchanging "a basketball player who openly hates our country," referring to Griner, and questioned why Paul Whelan was not included.
David Whelan responded to Trump and blasted him in a tweet, saying he "appears to have mentioned my brother #PaulWhelan's wrongful detention more in the last 24 hours than he did in the 2 years of his presidency." John Bolton, Trump's former national security advisor, revealed that the ex-president had the chance to trade Whelan for Bout back in 2018, per the Washington Examiner.
In an Instagram post on Saturday thanking the Biden administration and others for her wife's release, Cherelle Griner called for the release of Paul Whelan as well as other Americans detained abroad.
During the interview with MSNBC, David Whelan said that his brother was " tremendously disappointed" when he learned he wasn't coming home.