Joe Biden makes a speech.

The administration of American president Joe Biden announced the controversial decision Thursday to free imprisoned WNBA superstar Brittney Griner.

“These past few months have been hell for Brittney,” Biden said in a statement. “I’m glad to be able to say Brittney is in good spirits. She’s relieved to finally be heading home, and the fact remains that she’s lost months of her life, experienced a needless trauma. She deserves space, privacy and time with her loved ones to recover and heal from her time being wrongfully detained.”

Biden caught severe criticism online from several sources for leaving former United States Marine Paul Whelan out of the prisoner exchange with Griner and convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. Biden spoke on that case as well.

“We’ve not forgotten about Paul Whalen, who has been unjustly detained in Russia for years. This was not a choice of which American to bring home. We brought home Trevor Reed when we had a chance earlier this year. Sadly, for totally illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul’s case differently than Brittney’s,” Biden said in a statement following Griner’s release.

Whalen’s family, for their part, released a statement in favor of Griner’s release.

Griner plead guilty to charges of possessing a small amount of hashish oil while attempting to board a domestic flight with her Russian Premier League team. The Russians originally sentenced her to nine years in a maximum-security penal colony for women 200 miles west of Moscow.

[Israel National News]