Trump says ‘working very hard on Pastor Brunson’ after release ruling
“Working very hard on Pastor Brunson!” Trump tweeted, several minutes after a Turkish court ruled for the release of Brunson.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Pastor Brunson, and we hope to have him safely back home soon!” he added.
After almost 30 minutes, Trump tweeted again, saying "PASTOR BRUNSON JUST RELEASED. WILL BE HOME SOON!"
The evangelical pastor was accused of terror-related charges and espionage, facing up to 35 years in prison.
The court sentenced Brunson to three years and one month in prison for aiding a terrorist organization, while ruling for his release from house arrest pending appeals procedures.
The pastor is free to leave Turkey if he wants, as the court did not adopt a travel ban.
The U.S. attempts for the release of the pastor had intensified ahead of a Congress election in November.
Ankara accused the Trump administration of targeting Turkey over the Brunson case with political motivations ahead of the election.
Washington had sanctioned two Turkish officials and doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports over the case.