NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has been working with the U.S. and Russian governments to help secure Britney Griner’s release. Richardson has helped rescue dozens of Americans in trouble overseas, including Marine veteran Trevor Reed in February.

In a rare move, the Biden administration agreed to a prisoner swap with Russia. News 13 spoke with Governor Richardson in May, who is staying optimistic he can also help bring Griner home. “On Griner, I’m hopeful, I’m positive,” said Richardson. “I think President Biden, by him agreeing to this prisoner swap that he did with Trevor Reed. The policy is changing a little bit. In other words, we might do prisoner swaps, which you don’t get anything for free. And it was a courageous decision. So I’m pleased with that in terms of our policy.”

Richardson has also been trying to get Russia to release corporate security director Paul Whelan, who has been in prison there for five years.