- Former Russian detainee Trevor Reed said the Biden administration is "not doing enough" to free Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan from prison.
- "The White House has the ability to get them out extremely fast and they clearly have chosen not to do that," Reed said.
- His full interview with NBC News Now's Hallie Jackson airs Tuesday at 5 p.m. on the streaming service.
Former Russian detainee Trevor Reed said the Biden administration is "not doing enough" to free Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan from Russian prison.
"I can't say 100% what the White House is or is not doing … But, in my opinion, the White House has the ability to get them out extremely fast and they clearly have chosen not to do that," Reed told NBC News Now's Hallie Jackson in an exclusive interview.
"So no, in my opinion, they are not doing enough," the former marine continued.
Reed was detained in a Russian prison — like Griner and Whelan — from 2019 to April 2022 when he was released as a part of a prisoner swap with the US.
The White House did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, but told NBC News that Griner, a WNBA star, and Whelan, a former US Marine, have "been top of mind for the President and for our national security team."
Reed's interview will air in full on the streaming service on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Earlier this month, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the White House is interested in "government-to-government contact" with Russia regarding both Griner's and Whelan's release.
Last week, President Joe Biden signed an executive order "to bolster efforts to bring home American hostages and wrongful detainees," even declaring a "national emergency" to address the growing threat.
Griner, a two-time Olympic champion, has been held in a Russian prison since February after she was arrested on drug charges for carrying vape cartridges in her luggage at a Moscow airport.
She has since pleaded guilty to the charges against her and faces up to 10 years in prison.
Her defense team maintains that including the vapes in her luggage was an accident and has pointed to a medical marijuana prescription Griner obtained stateside.
Whelan, another former US Marine, was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2020. He was first arrested on charges of espionage in 2018.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.