President Donald Trump reacted to the news that John Walker Lindh was released from prison on Thursday, after serving only seventeen months in prison.
“I don’t like it all,” Trump said to reporters at the White House in response to the news.
Lindh, referred to as “Taliban John” after the California man joined the Taliban, was captured by U.S. forces after he took up arms against the U.S. government.
Trump said he investigated the case after he received a letter from the daughter of CIA officer Mike Spann, a man who was killed during a prison uprising in Afghanistan. Lindh was charged with the murder of Spann but was only convicted of illegally supporting the Taliban as part of a plea bargain.
Trump said he went to the “best lawyers” to see if he could do anything about the release, but he was told that he was powerless to stop it.
“Am I happy about it? Not even a little bit,” Trump said. “The lawyers have gone through it with a fine tooth comb. If there was a way to break that, I would have broken it in two seconds.”
Trump expressed surprise that Lindh had not even denounced his extremist views. He promised, however, that Lindh would be under close surveillance after he left prison.
“We’ll be watching him, we’ll be watching him closely,” he said.