This will be the first time he has met with them in person. Biden will meet with them separately, an official said.
“The President wants to make sure their families know they remain front of mind and that his team is working on this every day,” an official told CNN.
The Associated Press was first to report on the meeting.
The Biden administration has repeatedly said that working to secure Griner and Whelan’s release, as well as that of Americans wrongfully detained abroad, is a top priority. In late July, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the US had put forward a “substantial proposal” to try to secure the release of Griner and Whelan. Sources told CNN that proposal included a swap for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Griner was detained in February for carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. The two-time US Olympic basketball gold medalist pleaded guilty to drug charges and said she accidentally packed the drugs while in a hurry.
She has been sentenced to nine years, along with a fine of about $16,400. Her legal team in Russia has appealed the ruling.
Whelan has been held by Russia for alleged espionage since 2018.
The Biden administration has offered to exchange convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout as part of a potential deal to secure the release of Whelan and Griner, according to people briefed on the matter. Sources told CNN that the plan to trade Bout, a convicted Russian arms trafficker serving a 25-year US prison sentence, for Whelan and Griner received the backing of Biden after being under discussion since earlier this year. Biden’s support for the swap overrides opposition from the Department of Justice, which is generally against prisoner trades.
Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens is currently in Rome for meetings at the Vatican and will not be attending the meetings on Friday, according to a US official. Secretary of State Tony Blinken has met with the families of Griner and Whelan earlier this year.
The State Department did not immediately confirm if Blinken would attend the meetings on Friday.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.