On Sept. 16, President Joe Biden met with Cherelle Griner, wife of Brittney Griner, and reassured her that he is working to gain the WNBA star's freedom, ESPN reported.
Biden sat down in the Oval Office with Cherelle Griner as well as Elizabeth Whelan, sister of detained former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan. Biden conducted the separate meetings to assure the families that the detainees "are at front of mind," said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Biden "appreciated the opportunity to learn more about Brittney and Paul from those who love them most, and acknowledged that every minute they are being held is a minute too long," Jean-Pierre said in a post-meeting statement.
Cherelle thanked Biden in a statement, saying it was an honor to speak to him about "the Brittney we know and love."
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and longtime star with the Phoenix Mercury, was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on drug charges on Aug. 4 after being arrested in February. The United States, in late July, said it has put forward a "substantial offer" to secure the release of the two Americans.