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Report: White House Makes Trade Offer For Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner in the WNBA Finals.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 10: Brittney Griner #42 and Diana Taurasi #3 of the Phoenix Mercury reacts to a foul call in the second half during the game against the Chicago Sky at Footprint Center on October 10, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Mattina/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden's administration has made a prisoner exchange offer to Russia involving WNBA star Brittney Griner, according to CNN.

A unnamed senior administration official told CNN that the White House made "a substantial offer" back in June. The source did not disclose the details of the proposed exchange, but CNN says it would include Griner and Paul Whelan for Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout.

"These sources told CNN that the plan to trade Bout for Whelan and Griner received the backing of President Joe Biden after being under discussion since earlier this year," CNN wrote. "Biden's support for the swap overrides opposition from the Department of Justice, which is generally against prisoner trades."

Bout is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence in America. Whelan, meanwhile, has been jailed in Russia since 2018 for alleged espionage.

Griner has been imprisoned since her February arrest at a Moscow airport on drug charges. She testified in court on Wednesday and faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

Griner admitted earlier this week to having cannabis oil on her person when she was arrested, but says it was not for criminal intent.

"We are not arguing that Brittney took it here as a medicine. We are still saying that she involuntarily brought it here because she was in a rush," defense attorney Alexander Boykov said. "The Russian public has to know, and the Russian court in the first place has to know, that it was not used for recreational purposes in the United States. It was prescribed by a doctor."