Dennis Rodman Planning Trip to Russia to Seek Brittney Griner Release

Dennis Rodman
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The NBA icon says he's headed to Russia to try and free the imprisoned WNBA star.

Dennis Rodman is going to take his shot at freeing Brittney Griner.

The NBA legend recently revealed his plans to travel to Russian in an effort to seek release for Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in prison for alleged drug possession charges.

"I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl," Rodman, 61, told NBC News over the weekend. "I'm trying to go this week."

Rodman added, "I know Putin too well."

Despite Rodman's confidence -- and his past independent unsanctioned diplomatic visits with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un -- the US State Department and White House officials are strongly against the idea.

An unnamed senior Biden administration official told NBC News that Rodman's visit is more likely to complicate and already tenuous situation, explaining, "It’s public information that the administration has made a significant offer to the Russians and anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to complicate and hinder release efforts."

However, Rodman does not need permission from the United States to travel to Russia. White the State Department has issued a travel advisory strongly discouraging traveling to the country, all Rodman needs is a travel visa from Moscow.

As for the Biden Administration's efforts to secure Griner's release, Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed in July that they had issued a prisoner swap proposal to Russia, for the return of Griner and U.S. Marine Paul Whelan. While Blinken did not confirm who the swap would be for, reports indicate that Russian is interested in the return of convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout.