White House urges Russia to release Griner

STORY: Both White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre and national security spokesperson, John Kirby, said Griner should have never faced the trial where she was found guilty of bringing cannabis-infused vape cartridges into Russia.

Jean-Pierre said the offer was also made for U.S. citizen and former Marine Paul Whelan.

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) star, was arrested in mid-February as she arrived to play for a Russian side during the WNBA offseason. Her case threw the Texan into the geopolitical maelstrom triggered when President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, propelling U.S.-Russian relations to a new post-Cold War low.