On Thursday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “The Story,” White House NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby responded to concerns that the prisoner swap for Brittney Griner could incentivize taking Americans prisoner to get concessions by stating that “To some degree,” “that ship has sailed.”

Host Martha MacCallum asked, [relevant exchange begins around 3:00] “But just in general, John, about this kind of policy of letting people go who are dangerous in order to get Americans back, does it not encourage more abductions, more taking prisoners in order to use them to get these people back?”

Kirby responded, “To some degree, Martha, that ship has sailed. I mean, this is not a new tactic for Mr. Putin, this idea of wrongfully detaining Americans in return for — to try to get somebody else back or to get some other concession. This is part of Mr. Putin’s playbook. So, we made this calculation. It was a tough decision. But it was a better decision than doing nothing. Because it was either get Brittney out using Mr. Bout or get nobody out. And I think we could all agree that it’s better to have Brittney Griner soon on American soil rather than spending years and years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit.”

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