The hosts of “The View” kicked the show off with jubilation on Thursday, celebrating the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was detained in Russia for months. But host Alyssa Farah Griffin admitted she does have some “fear” about the Russian prisoner who was swapped in exchange for Griner.
In announcing the news this morning, it was revealed that Griner’s release came in exchange for notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, known at his peak as the “merchant of death.” Bout was serving a 25-year sentence after conspiring to sell weapons meant to be used against Americans. The release of Bout has been a controversial subject, and one that the hosts of “The View” were admittedly hesitant on.
Host Alyssa Farah Griffin noted that she’s “always conflicted” when it comes to prisoner swaps, and said that with this one in particular, she is concerned about what Bout might do alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I’m not quite in, like, the George Bush ‘Never negotiate with terrorists’ because sometimes you have to,” Farah Griffin said. “But you have to make sure that there’s — it doesn’t pose too much of a risk to the homeland. And I fear that this is somebody who is going to someday have the blood of Ukrainians or Americans on his hands.”
Host Sunny Hostin agreed that she tends to feel conflicted about prisoner swaps, and the women did wonder what the long-term ramifications of releasing Bout may be. But moderator Whoopi Goldberg cut in, arguing that “any swap that you do is going to be tough.”
“It’s never going to be equal,” Whoopi said. “All I ever think about is who’s waiting for that person at home. Because when you can’t get hold of anybody, and you can’t get anybody to give you something to hold on to, it cannot be easy. So as much as we can be concerned — and you know, what I’m starting to realize is, in the old days — those are the old days now, for that guy — we weren’t paying close attention to a lot of stuff. Stuff was happening, but we weren’t catching it. We’re catching stuff now.”
You can watch the full segment from “The View” in the video above.