Before his arrest, he had been staying at Moscow's Metropol Hotel and spent time with the wedding party at the Kremlin.
While announcing the arrest three days later, the Russian Security Service said Whelan was caught "during an espionage operation", but gave no details.
Whelan spent his two weeks in Russian Federation, saying in the interview that the leave program "gives those of us who are single an opportunity to travel throughout the world wherever we want to go and experience the diversity of culture". We learned of his arrest on Monday morning after his detention was picked up on newswires and have contacted Congressional representatives, the U.S. Embassy, and the State Department. His innocence is undoubted and we trust that his rights will be respected.
He added that Paul, who now works in corporate security, had gone to Russian Federation to help other Americans at the wedding navigate Moscow and its extensive metro system.
"He loves to travel so I wasn't at all surprised that he would be confident going to Russian Federation".
"He's got a military background, he's been in corporate security for years", David Whelan said Tuesday.
"Ambassador Huntsman visited Mr. Paul Whelan today in the Lefortovo Detention Facility".
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USA Todayreported on Wednesday that Paul Whelan's military records show him serving in the Marine reserves from 1994 to 2008, with deployments to Iraq as an administrative clerk in 2004 and 2006.
The Marine Corps did not immediately provide details of the court-martial conviction beyond saying it was based on "several charges related to larceny".
But it appears Paul Whelan has fallen into the dark hole of the Russian security apparatus.
He was hired in 2017 by Auburn Hills, Michigan-based BorgWarner and now is the auto parts supplier's global security director.
"He is responsible for overseeing security at our facilities in Auburn Hills, Michigan and at other company locations around the world", company spokeswoman Kathy Graham said in a statement. The ambassador said Washington had complained to the Russian government about the length of time it had taken to grant consular access to Whelan after his arrest. After Whelan arrest, however, I will change my advice. David said the family last heard from Paul, a retired U.S. Marine, on Friday, "which was very much out of character for him, even when he was traveling".
Butina pleaded guilty in December to conspiring on behalf of the Kremlin to cultivate sources inside the Republican party prior to the 2016 presidential election. Whelan's family has staunchly denied that he could be a spy. "Make no mistake, this is a hostage situation".
The Russian spying charges carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Mr Whelan, who served in Iraq and is now a corporate security director in MI, had been to Russian Federation many times in the past for both work and personal trips. I think there are many reasons and it could be completely arbitrary.