FIRST ON NY – President Biden confirmed Thursday he is “serious” about considering a prisoner swap for the release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been jailed in Russia for over 100 days.

Gershkovich was detained on March 29 in Yekaterinburg, the fourth-largest city in Russia, and charged with being a spy, an accusation vehemently denied by both The Wall Street Journal and the U.S. government, which have called for his immediate release.

Capitol Hill lawmakers reacted to the question of whether the president has done enough to bring the journalist home, and what next steps, if any, they believe should be taken. BIDEN ‘SERIOUS’ ABOUT PRISONER EXCHANGE WITH RUSSIA FOR REPORTER EVAN GERSHKOVICH: ‘PROCESS IS UNDERWAY’ The family of Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich spoke out on their son’s 100th day wrongfully detained by Russia during a reporting trip. (Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Rep. Barry Moore, R-Ala., suggested that the situation underlined what he described as a weak foreign policy.

“Whether or not he’s doing enough – I guess that’s a good question,” Moore told Fox News Digital. “It depends on who the prisoner swap’s going to be. But I think the bigger picture really is just how the U.S. is on the geopolitical stage right now.”

“And I think – whether it’s Afghanistan or the recent interactions with Russia shooting down drones, and China rattling sabers in Taiwan – as America shows weakness on the stage, it puts all citizens in danger – especially our citizens that are abroad,” he added. “Whether it be media or whatever the case may be, soldiers, allies, any of the above. So, I don’t know, it depends on who he’s talking about swapping with, but I think sometimes sanctions play a better role than swapping prisoners.”

WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTER EVAN GERSHKOVICH HAS BEEN WRONGFULLY DETAINED BY RUSSIA FOR 100 DAYS Rep. Barry Moore, R-Ala., suggests sanctions should come before prisoner swaps as Evan Gershkovich remains jailed in Russia. (Fox News Digital)

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said he had faith in the president’s motivations.

“I don’t think any of us can even ask that question,” he said on whether the administration has done enough. “We don’t know that we shouldn’t, and we got to protect the life and safety of hostages held by Putin and his regime, I favor quiet diplomacy to try to get the desired result. And I have every reason to believe, knowing President Biden, that he’s committed to that.”

“Russia has figured out that they can take Americans prisoner – they can really hold them as hostages and get something for it,” Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., intoned. “We’ve got to get this young man home,” he continued. “I’m a parent. I understand what they’re going through. With the war in Ukraine, with the weakness that the Biden administration has shown, I’m very concerned about other Americans who for whatever reason they had to be in Russia for something.”

US AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA ALLOWED TO VISIT DETAINED WSJ REPORTER EVAN GERSHKOVICH FOR FIRST TIME IN MONTHS At the 100-day mark of Gershkovich’s imprisonment, Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Emma Tucker said he was in “good health and relatively good spirits” despite his dire circumstances. “It was great news for us that the ambassador got in, because we had been requesting – the U.S. government had been requesting consulate access and the Russians kept denying it. Finally, they agreed. This was only the second time the ambassador was allowed in and she was able to report back that he’s in good health and relatively good spirits,” Tucker said on “Fox & Friends.” President Biden said Thursday he was “serious” about considering a prisoner swap for journalist Evan Gershkovich. (The Image Direct for Fox News Digital)

“My understanding is there’s a lot of work being done behind the scenes,” Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., told Fox News Digital on Thursday. “I wouldn’t want to comment on what the next steps are without knowing more about what the previous steps have been and what the situation is internally and diplomatically.”

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR EVAN GERSHKOVICH The Wall Street Journal has encouraged supporters to share Gershkovich’s journalism and latest updates on his situation by visiting WSJ.com/Evan. Readers can access media assets and images, such as #IStandWithEvan profile photos, banners, and cover images to be used across social media. The WSJ also allows readers to write a message to Evan and his family. Fox News’ Agustin Hays, Nikolas Lanum, and Brian Flood contributed to this report.

 

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Cortney O’Brien is an Editor at Fox News. Twitter: @obrienc2.

 

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