White House comments on Brittney Griner call “mistake”

"This was an unfortunate mistake."
Brittney Griner Aug 8, 2021; Saitama, Japan; United States centre Brittney Griner (15) reacts to a call against Japan in the women’s basketball gold medal match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, Cherelle Griner told the Associated Press that she was unable to connect with her wife Brittney Griner in Russia on a scheduled phone call because the phone line at the U.S. Embassy was not staffed over the weekend.

“I find it unacceptable and I have zero trust in our government right now,” Cherelle Griner told the AP. “If I can’t trust you to catch a Saturday call outside of business hours, how can I trust you to actually be negotiating on my wife’s behalf to come home? Because that’s a much bigger ask than to catch a Saturday call.”

On Tuesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that the call could not be completed because of a “logistical error” and that government officials have fixed it so that a new call can take place in the near future.

“It was a mistake. It is a mistake that we have worked to rectify,” Price told reporters Tuesday. “The call has been rescheduled and will take place in relatively short order.”

The State Department and White House did not offer a specific date for the rescheduled call.

“This was an unfortunate mistake,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

Jean-Pierre didn’t know if President Joe Biden had plans to meet with Cherelle Griner, but did say the administration remains in contact with her.

“The State Department has been in regular touch with Mrs. Griner,” said Jean-Pierre. “She’s also spoken with Secretary [Antony] Blinken. Any American who is held abroad is a priority for this president.”


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.