Franklin Graham, one of the nation’s most respected evangelical leaders, praised President Trump for strong-arming Turkey into releasing Pastor Andrew Brunson.
“We’ve never had a president in my lifetime that has stood up for American citizens like he has – and to defend them the way he has – and actually to do whatever it took to to get him home,” Graham said on the Todd Starnes Radio Show. “God bless him.”
Brunson was released after being held prisoner in Turkey for more than two years. He had been sentenced to three years in jail over alleged links to political groups after a failed coup in 2016.
The Trump administration reportedly agreed to lift sanctions that had been imposed on Turkey in an effort to pressure the nation to release the 50-year-old pastor.
“It’s that kind of strong-arm tactic that got their attention. Our allies are not used to America standing up like this and they have been taking advantage of us,” Graham told Starnes.
“If it hadn’t been for President Trump, it wouldn’t have happened,” he said. “We’re just thrilled he’s coming home.”