President Trump on Thursday appeared for the first time to publicly acknowledge that his government helped negotiate the release of a Turkish national detained in Israel under a wider agreement that freed an American pastor detained in Turkey.
The collapse of the agreement has led to weeks of mounting tensions between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which jeopardize the relationship between the United States and an important NATO alliance partner between Europe and the Middle East.
Trump brought the dispute to a Cabinet meeting Thursday calling for an update on the sanctions he had recently taken against leading Turkish leaders for imprisoning American Andrew Brunson
"Turkey has not proven to be good Friend, "said Trump. "You have a great Christian pastor there, he's a very innocent man … I think it's a terrible thing to hold him."
He seemed disappointed then that Turkey had not released Brunson after the United States helped in the trial of the release of the Turkish national detained in Israel. 1
"They want to keep our wonderful pastor," Trump added. "Not fair, not right."
Unknowingly, Trump opened a window to what lies behind the intensity of the dispute with Erdogan, a strong man who shares Trump's highly personalized top-down leadership style and values strength demonstrate and collect national pride. He does not want to be the one to blink in the middle of hard feelings about who is responsible for the deal.
In a tweet on Thursday night, Trump escalated his language to Brunson, describing the pastor as a hostage and declaring, "We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we will restrict Turkey!"
"The Turkey has been exploiting the United States for many years, "Trump said in a tweet. "They now hold our wonderful Christian pastor, whom I must now ask to represent our country as a great patriot hostage."
The Washington Post reported on July 26, citing a person familiar with the arrangement, with whom Trump had intervened directly. Englisch: www.moviesfilmonline.com / en / movies / oliver – twist Netanyahu is said to have won the encouragement of Ebru Ozkan, a Turkish woman accused of being the smuggler of the Palestinian militia group Hamas, last month
Brunson 's release after nearly two years in jail should be the next step in a multi – party agreement signed by diplomats as well drafted by Trump and Erdogan directly during a meeting at the NATO summit in Brussels in July, other officials familiar with the plan said on condition of anonymity to discuss the delicate negotiations.
Trump's July 14 phone Two days after the conclusion of the NATO summit, he came to Netanyahu, where he honored Erdoğan for his praise and hit the grinning Turkish leader with a punch.
Trump and Vice President Esident Pence were outraged when a Turkish court dismissed Brunson from prison but put him under house arrest. Trump blamed Erdogan directly and raged for helpers the Turkish leader had withheld in their handshake deal, people who were familiar with his reaction said.
Pence was closely involved in the Brunson negotiations, mainly because the minister had become a major cause among Americans Evangelicals, who were overwhelmingly in favor of Trump in the 2016 elections and are among his most loyal followers.
Trump took the collapse of the negotiations as a personal defeat and was angry at the appearance of the United States, US officials said. Trump complains that Erdogan is trying to make him look "weak," an official said.
The government responded with unusually harsh human rights sanctions targeting two senior government ministers instead of lower civil servants for more stringent financial sanctions that could be applied at any time.
"We have more of what we intend to do if they do not release him quickly," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Trump at the Cabinet meeting, without giving any details. 19659020] Trump announced last week that the United States is doubling tariffs on imported Turkish metals.
Turkey has responded by saying that it will increase tariffs on several US imports including cars, tobacco and spirits.
Erdogan this week accused the US leader of trying to harass him.
"We believe that Turkey, and especially President Erdogan, has treated Pastor Brunson – who we know is a very good man and a strong Christian who did nothing wrong – very unfair, very bad "White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday. "And that's something we will not forget in the administration."
The Brunson case was the focal point for an altercation with Erdogan, although the larger US-Turkish conflict involves Erdogan's leaning towards Iran and Russia, his purchase of Russian armament instead of NATO material and brewing war.
The relationship worsened last year, though the White House considers this an extraordinary attempt limited by Trump's personal diplomacy in Brussels.
"Trump thinks he has done a lot and he comes with one of his worries – Brunson – to Erdogan – and it does not happen," said Amanda Sloat, a former state secretary who is now a specialist for Turkey at the Brookings Institution ,
Many diplomatic meetings in February attended by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, then-Foreign Minister Rex Tillerson and then National Security Advisor HR McMaster, and a Tillerson plan to found Parliament
In June, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Turkey announces that the FBI is investigating the US-backed US groups supporting a Turkish cleric whom Erdogan blames for a coup.
against several security forces for Erdogan, allegedly involved in close combat in May 2017 in front of the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington.
Video of the incident, which showed guards for the visiting Turkish president, protesters who had gathered outside of Sheridan, accused district stay, triggered international condemnation.
Trump and Erdogan got along well at the beginning of Trump's presidency, and with good reason. Unlike many of Europe's leaders, whom Trump considered cocky or weak, Erdogan is earthy and carries a touch of street-heavy pride. Both Trump and Erdogan often select enemies for the attack; both were called villains
"Something went wrong, or something was misunderstood" to Brussels, and now the two leaders are in a face-off that it's hard to defuse, Sloat said.
The threat of the government Thursday "To impose more sanctions escalates the dispute, and" Erdogan certainly does not look as if he would fold. "
Current and former US officials said Erdogan did Trump despite their similarities US and Turkish officials whisper different versions about how the deal broke up and whether Trump was willing to defend a New York-denounced Turkish banker against Iran who escaped US sanctions.
Turkish The media reported that the banker had been sent to Turkey
Erdogan sees Brunson as a "negotiating chip" whose price is particularly high because of the White House's interest in his case, said Aykan Erdemir, a senior staff member of the foundation for the defense of democracies.
"Erdogan has a tactic of hostage diplomacy," said Erdemir, adding The United States would potentially enter dangerously ground if it decided to dismiss banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who was sentenced to 32 months in prison in May] "There is a kind of moral imbalance in the leaked deal – They exchange a convicted sanction buster for an innocent pastor, "Erdemir said.