He Ain’t Skeered: Trump Refuses to Negotiate with Turkey Over Brunson (Plus: Puns!)
Andrew Brunson is stuck in Turkey.
President Trump and VP Mike Pence have, for a considerable while now, spoken out on Brunson’s situation — the 50-year-old is detained for participating in a coup which, reportedly, he had no part in. But the North Carolina preacher will once again tonight lay down his head under house arrest, as sure as I’m destined to use a bad Turkey pun somewhere in this article.
Trump is being hailed by some for refusing to negotiate with Turkey head (that was almost a pun, and I didn’t even mean to do it) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Turkish leader has attempted to use Brunson as leverage in order to reduce sanctions from the U.S.
On Monday, the White House officially confirmed The Donald’s rejection of what was on offer: if the U.S. would quell its investigation of a Turkish bank in alleged violation of American sanctions against Iran, the foul foreign government (there it is, in small portion) would allow Brunson to return home, along with other Americans also being held on suspicion of terrorism.
Trump’s standing his ground, which drew praise from his attorney, Jay Sekulow, in a tweet:
“In diplomacy, you sometimes hit a bump in the road. Clearly we have hit such a bump. While I remain hopeful for the expeditious release of #PastorAndrew, let me be clear that we fully support the President’s action in refusing to pay a ransom to Turkey……a NATO ally, for the release of an innocent man. We support the President and his efforts to continue to place economic pressure on Turkey. As President Trump has stated, Pastor Brunson – who is being punished because of his Christian faith – is a ‘great patriot.'”
Gunslinger Trump doesn’t mince words:
“Turkey has taken advantage of the United States for many years. They are now holding our wonderful Christian Pastor, who I must now ask to represent our Country as a great patriot hostage. We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey!”
Did Trump just use a bad pun for me?
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham backs Trump’s line:
“We’re not going to have a normal relationship with Turkey until they let Pastor Brunson out. The charges against him are complete shams. It’s a bogus event regarding Pastor Brunson and others who work for the American embassy. They had nothing to do with trying to topple the government.”
Previously in prison and now on house arresst, Brunson’s been held for two years, accused of ties to the Fethullah Gulen Movement.
D.T. says that’s just plain:
The Pres told reporters Friday the jig’s up:
“Well, Turkey has been a problem for a long time. They have not acted as a friend. We’ll see what happens. They have a wonderful Christian pastor. He’s a wonderful man, Pastor Brunson. They made up this phony charge that he’s a spy, and he’s not a spy.”
Donald Trump can be a brash man. Some would use more negative terms. But in cases such as this, I’m glad he’s representing our country and its citizens. I’m glad America is viewed as formidable — it’s a refreshing change. Thank you, President Trump, for showing that, although our nation may in some ways be tenderhearted, we still have a backbone. One that’s stronger than a Turkey’s (destiny fulfilled).
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