President Trump: ‘No Deal’ Behind Pastor Andrew Brunson’s Release from Turkey

US pastor Andrew Craig Brunson (C,L) arrives at Adnan Menderes airport in Izmir, on October 12, 2018 after being freed following a trial in a court in Aliaga in western Izmir province. - US pastor Andrew Brunson, freed after a two-year detention in Turkey that shook relations between the countries, …
Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Speaking to reporters before departing for a rally inLebanon, Ohio, Friday, President Donald Trump said there was “no deal there at all” behind the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson from jail following his two-year detention.

“Pastor Andrew Brunson is in the air from Turkey. He is, I think, in good shape,” President Trump told the press pool, adding the newly released American will stop in Germany to undergo a full medical check. According to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, Bruson and his wife are scheduled to land at Ramstein Air Base in southwest Germany before 1:00 a.m. local time, where they will be greeted by Ambassador Richard Grenell and Lt. Gen. Jeff Harrigian. Subsequent to a satisfactory medical screening, the pastor will fly directly to Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

President Trump revealed he will likely welcome Brunson to the Oval Office on Saturday. [W]e’re very honored to have him back here with us,” the president said. “He suffered greatly, but we’re very appreciative of a lot of people, a lot of people.”

Further, the president told reporters that the U.S. went through the Turkish judicial system to free Brunson and that no special agreement was reached with Ankara to free the pastor. “We went through a system and we got him out,” he explained. “We tried to get him out for a long time. This has nothing to do with anything and there’s no deal there at all, there’s no deal.”

Earlier Friday, President Trump lauded the diplomatic victory in a tweet, writing: “PASTOR BRUNSON JUST RELEASED. WILL BE HOME SOON!”


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