Former DEA Special Operation Director Derek Maltz, who was involved in Viktor Bout's capture, slammed the White House for their "ironic" prisoner swap, arguing that it's "disgusting" for the Biden administration to tout gun control but also celebrate the release of the world's biggest gun trafficker back to Putin's arsenal.
The announcement for the controversial exchange came on Thursday, and just a few hours later, WNBA star Brittney Griner and Viktor Bout were boarding their respective planes back to their home country.
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"Putin has just established a new tool for corrupt leaders around the world that can hold Americans hostage because they know, and they will take advantage of the weakness of our policies in America. We're going soft on criminals, and we're not being supportive of global security issues. And law enforcement is being put on the side," Maltz said on "Fox & Friends Weekend."
The former DEA Special Operation director attacked what he saw as a hypocritical narrative behind the Griner-Bout trade, arguing that White House policies do not accurately align with the political views that they so strongly support.
"The Biden administration is pro-gun control every time there's a shooting. Gun control. Gun control. Now, we just released the biggest trafficker that I've ever heard of in the world back to Russia in the middle of a war where they're killing all these innocent people in Ukraine. How ironic and how disgusting is that?" Waltz argued.
Maltz discussed the DEA's complex operation that was devised to capture Bout – a plan supported by the Obama administration, including former Vice President Biden. Maltz claimed that he had never seen such great work in the White House, a victorious feat the former DEA operative sees as completely washed away.
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"I'm very proud of the DEA efforts because DEA is an agency to investigate drug trafficking. In this case, we help the National Security Council and the government and the country to go after this threat [from Bout], who is responsible for the death of thousands of lives. He was fueling brutal wars and conflicts around the world," the former DEA director said, Saturday.
"What's really ironic is Joe Biden was the vice president. So he was fully briefed by all of these folks that we met with in the White House and throughout the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, intelligence community. And he should have known what a threat to the world this Viktor Bout was," Maltz continued.
Maltz argued that this decision by the Biden administration has exposed new dangers for the U.S.: "It shows the world another weakness of the United States of America, which makes me very sad because I've been in this battle for many years and I love this country, and it's very sad to see this happen." Maltz concluded.