Freed American pastor Andrew Brunson fell to one knee in the Oval Office and placed his hand on President Donald Trump’s shoulder in prayer before asking God to provide Trump “supernatural wisdom to accomplish all the plans you have for this country and for him.” Trump welcomed Brunson to the White House on Saturday to celebrate Brunson’s release from nearly two years of confinement in Turkey, which had sparked a diplomatic row with a key ally and outcry from US evangelical groups. Brunson returned to the US aboard a military jet shortly before meeting the president.
He was detained in October 2016, formally arrested that December and placed under house arrest on July 25 for health reasons. “From a Turkish prison to the White House in 24 hours, that’s not bad,” Trump said. Brunson’s homecoming amounts to a diplomatic – and possibly political – win for Trump and his evangelical base.
Coming on the heels of the confirmation of a conservative justice to the Supreme Court, Brunson’s return is likely to leave evangelical Christians feeling good about the president and motivated get to the polls in the Nov 6 midterm elections. Brunson appeared to be in good health and good spirits. When he asked Trump if he could pray for him, the president replied, “Well, I need it probably more than anyone ese in this room, so that would be very nice, thank you.” (AP)