Trump praises Erdoğan during convention segment with freed hostages

Trump praises Erdoğan during convention segment with freed hostages
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE on Monday offered praise for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for releasing American pastor Andrew Brunson last year after imprisoning him for roughly two years on disputed charges.

Trump met with six Americans who were freed from captivity during his administration, including Brunson, in a prerecorded segment that aired during the first night of the Republican National Convention.

"I have to say that, to me, President Erdoğan was very good," Trump told Brunson. "And I know they had you scheduled for a long time, and you were a very innocent person, and he ultimately, after we had a few conversations, he agreed. So we appreciate that, and we appreciate the people of Turkey."

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Brunson worked in Turkey for 23 years as the pastor of the Resurrection Church. He was detained for an alleged connection to a failed coup against Erdoğan in 2016, though he denied any wrongdoing.

Monday night's comments are the latest instance of Trump offering praise for leaders such as Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinFBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden Traces of nerve agent found in water bottle in Navalny's hotel room, colleagues say Russia: US trying to foment revolution in Belarus MORE, something Democrats criticized him for during their convention last week.

Trump highlighted the case of other Americans who were held hostage in Iran and Venezuela on Monday. They in turn expressed their gratitude to the president and aides who negotiated their release.

"We got you back. We got you all back," Trump said. "And we have some more that we’re working on right now to get back."