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A phone call between Phoenix Mercury Center Brittney Griner and her wife, Cherelle Griner, has been moved after an attempt by the two to connect on Saturday failed after a “logistical error,” according to Eric Tucker of the Associated Press.
Griners have not spoken since Russian officials detained the WNBA star on February 17 after claiming they discovered cannabis oil vape cartridges in her luggage during a check at a Moscow airport. She has been detained for 124 days since Tuesday.
State Department spokesman Ned Price admitted that a logistical error prevented the call from going through Saturday. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday that the State Department is arranging a rescheduled call, but did not reveal when it would take place.
Cherelle Griner told Tucker and colleague Doug Feinberg that Brittney Griner tried to call her 11 times through the U.S. Embassy in Russia, but the desk where the phone was located did not have staff.
“I find that unacceptable and I have no confidence in our government right now,” Cherelle Griner said. “If I can not trust you to get a Saturday call outside of opening hours, then how can I trust you to actually negotiate on behalf of my wife to come home? For that is a much bigger issue than getting a Saturday call. . “
Griner also said the phone call “had been scheduled for nearly two weeks – with a weekend date” coinciding with their wedding day.
According to Price, there are staff restrictions due to the Russian government’s restrictions on the embassy and its operations.
A senior State Department official said the call was originally intended to go through the embassy’s naval guard station, but that it was somehow routed through an unmanned, remote location.
The State Department said in May that Griner is being wrongfully detained. According to the Russian state-run news agency Tass, officials extended Griner’s detention until Saturday, July 2nd.