WNBA’S BRITTNEY GRINER RELEASED BY RUSSIA IN 1-FOR-1 PRISONER SWAP FOR ARMS DEALER VIKTOR BOUT: “To secure Griner’s release, the president ordered Bout to be freed and returned to Russia. Mr. Biden signed the commutation order cutting short Bout’s 25-year federal prison sentence. Notably, the Griner-for-Bout exchange leaves retired U.S. Marine Paul Whelan imprisoned in Russia. Whelan has been in Russian custody for nearly four years. He was convicted on espionage charges that the U.S. has called false. ‘We’ve not forgotten about Paul Whelan,’ Mr. Biden said Thursday, adding ‘we will never give up’ on securing his release. U.S. officials told reporters that it became clear in talks with the Russians that the prospect of exchanging both Griner and Whelan for Bout was a nonstarter, with one saying the U.S. had was ‘a choice between bringing home one particular American — Brittney Griner — or bringing home none.’”

Jim Geraghty dubs the trade “A Terrible Concession to Putin’s Russia.” “It is likely that one of the reasons the Biden administration went ahead with this deal was their confidence that enough allies would choose to characterize it as a major diplomatic victory, not an epic concession to a hostile state that is likely to try to use the same strongarm tactics again in the future.”