WH says Biden will meeting with family members of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan on Friday

At the White House briefing on Thursday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that on Friday, President Biden will meet with the wife of Brittney Griner and and the sister of Paul Whelan, Americans who are being detained by the Russian government.

Video transcript

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: And finally, on Friday, tomorrow, President Biden will hold meetings at White House-- at the White House with Brittney's Griner's wife, Cherelle Griner, and Paul Whelan's sister, Elizabeth Whalen, to discuss his continuing commitment to bringing their family members home safely.

As we have said before, we believe that Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney and Paul under intolerable circumstances. And as you know, we have been directly engaged with the Russian government through appropriate channels.

We made a significant offer a couple of months ago through the same channels we used for Trevor Reed. We have followed up on that offer repeatedly and will continue to pursue every avenue to bring them home safely. With that, Darlene.

- Thanks, Karine. On the meeting tomorrow with the Griner and the Whelan families, is there anything more you can say about how we've gotten to this point where he's actually physically going to be in the same room with the families? It's something they've wanted for a long time.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: So one of the things that the President wanted to make clear is, and one of the reasons he is meeting with the families, is that he wanted to let them know that they remain front of mind and that his team is working on this every day on making sure that Brittney and Paul return home safely. One family member was already scheduled to be it's town. And the President wanted to meet with both of the families on the same day.