Opinion: Economic pressure helped bring Pastor Brunson home, not pallets of cash
A jailed American has finally come home. Evangelical Pastor Andrew Brunson was released from house arrest in Turkey last Friday and returned to the United States on Saturday.
Brunson was arrested and sent to prison by the Turkish government in 2016. They claimed that Brunson had aided in a coup attempt against Turkish President Erdogan. Pastor Brunson repeatedly denied all the allegations made against him.
President Trump and his administration had placed immense pressure on Turkey to release Pastor Brunson, who was detained while President Obama was in office.
The United States doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey in august, which helped to send the Turkish economy into a downward spiral and ultimately gave our government the leverage needed to bring Pastor Brunson home.
The president welcomed Pastor Brunson and met with him in the Oval Office on Saturday, where the two prayed together.
Contrast this process with President Obama’s negotiations with Iran, which ended with the United States giving up pallets of cash and caving in our posture on Iran’s nuclear program, making the United States look weak on the international stage.
As the negotiations with Turkey showed, strong sanctions against an adversary are more effective than bribing them with money.
Here’s the Bottom Line: President Trump brought Pastor Brunson home without having to give Turkey anything in return but the possibility of better relations with the United States of America.
Welcome home, Pastor Brunson, we are all thankful that you are back safe and sound.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations