tv President Trump Welcomes U.S Prisoner Released from Venezuela CSPAN May 27, 2018 2:52am-3:07am EDT
trump welcomed joshua holt, a 26-year-old utah resident who was jailed in venezuela after being accused of stockpiling weapons. mr. holt traveled to south america in december 2016 to marry a woman he met online. his return to the u.s. comes after months of negotiations which led to a meeting on friday between bob corker. a few hours after that meeting, mr. holt's release was announced . here's a look at the remarks in the oval office. pres. trump: thank you very much, everybody. this is a great honor tonight . this is very special. we have as you know, joshua holt and his wife tammy. they came back from a very tough ordeal in a venezuelan prison almost two years. amazing you were able to take it. your daughter is here and your parents, jason and lori.
you went through a lot. you were there fighting all the way. i want to thank rob corker, great job you did over there. i want to thank mike lee, and mia -- every time i have seen her mama she talks about you. she was always doing it and orrin hatch is a legend. as you know. he's a legend in the senate, and this country and orrin, you are great. bob, mike, mia, orrin, i want to thank you very much. we have had 17 prisoners released during the trump administration. most people don't know that. you remember aya, we called the president of egypt and he released her. she was there for a long time, three years. the previous administration was unable to get her out. fantastic young woman.
she was released. as you know, in north korea we just had a very great success. we had three wonderful people, americans that were released just recently and they are now home safely with their families. and, you were a tough one, i have to tell you. that was a tough situation. but we have had 17 released and we are very proud of that record. we have others coming. we are in the midst of big negotiations to get others out . in most cases they are americans but we can try to help other countries as well. we've been working very hard on it. i just want to welcome you to the oval office and welcome you to the white house. it is really very special to have you both. you have gone through a lot. you have gone through a lot. more than most people could endure. i want to thank your parents for being such loving parents. you were really very special. you were fighting all the way.
there was not a day, hour, or minute that you are not thinking about this man and calling everybody and letting us know. we are all as a group very happy. the state department has been fantastic. where are my guys from the state department? we have john, john sullivan. you guys were very fantastic. look all those people. you are probably surprised to see them. maybe i would like to ask your great parents if you have something to say before -- i would like to get to the senators and i would like to get to you, mia and asked you also. can i start with the parents? >> i just want to say thank you, to you personally for everything that you have done. as well as the state department, but all of you. i just can't even tell you. i have grown to love senator hatch and mia so much. not everybody gets to talk to senator hatch and mia.
when everything happened last week, mia was the one who answered her phone and was the one that got things rolling with senator hatch. pres. trump: i've never seen mia cry before. >> it was a horrifying week and she got me through it with senator hatch. senator hatch's office, i cannot tell you how much i love all of your staff. so, thank you, thank you. i also want to say thank you to president maduro for releasing josh and letting him come home. pres. trump: that is very nice. pop? >> she pretty much said everything. that is why i let the pretty face take care of this stuff. pres. trump: very smart. you're smart. josh, would you like to say something? >> i'm just overwhelmed with gratitude. for you guys and for everything
you have done. for the support of my wife through those two years, they were very, very difficult. not a great vacation i was looking for, but we are still together and starting off a marriage rough but now we will be together and i am so grateful for what you guys have done and for thinking about me and caring about me -- just a normal person. it really touches me and thank you. pres. trump: you have been very brave, actually. we saw what was happening inside of that prison. so you really have been very, very brave. bob corker, would you like to say something? sen. corker: we're just glad to have you home. a lot of people have worked for a long time to make this happen. we want to thank everyone at the state department, in particular
knows this area more than anyone in the united states. pres. trump: caleb, come on over here. [applause] fantastic job. sen. corker: it's quite an experience that we can almost write a book about, just the last 48 hours. we were actually taking off on the runway, nothing in venezuela happens quite in the same way that it happens here. we were going down the runway and they turned the engines off and we turned around, so we still weren't sure we were leaving. pres. trump: what happened, why did they do that? sen. corker: it was an instrument issue that occurred. finally we got out of there and
josh had a huge smile on his face. pres. trump: that was a better alternative. sen. corker: there were people that we worked with down there, that i do hope at the right time you will have the chance to thank. they are people who really want to try to affect the relationship in a good way. they were very helpful to us in getting him out of there. i know you talked to one of them last night on the phone when i was having dinner with them and i appreciate you doing that. pres. trump: that's great, bob. that's really great. we have a wonderful christian pastor and he is right now in turkey, he is been there a long time. they say he is a spy, but he is not a spy. we have been working for his
release. he is having a hard time. there is a trial going on, but the trial is not so much of a trial and we are talking to the folks in turkey about doing pastor brunson, i hope you can hear us. we will be helping you at some point. he is a totally innocent men. mike, which like to say something? >> i would like to thank all of those involved. josh, i want to wish you a warm welcome home. tammy, welcome to our country which is now your country. [speaking spanish]
you understood that beautifully. good job. orrin hatch, senator, spectacular man. mr. president, i cannot tell you how much i appreciate you are you i was one guy who really supported you 100%. i think you're doing a terrific job, and this is why i support you. these folks did a great job. caleb and others did such a good job. we have good people working with us. the parents are as good of people as i have ever met in my life. this would not have happened without you.
, whent want you to know you look back over your tenure this is justency, one of the many great things you are doing. it is really a great thing. we can rely on you and count on you and talk to you and meet with you, these are all very important things. that is very nice, i appreciate it. you all have been very supportive. thank you very much. mia? have been thinking about what i was going to say today. it has been an emotional day. families sent their , and theyaughters out want to know that if something happens to their children that statesve the united
having their back. i want to personally thank you for keeping a promise. every time i would go and see you i would bring up joshua's name, and you would say i'm going to do everything i can. obviously, i believe that. josh thatt to say to your mom never let us forget about you. she is one of the strongest women i know. we have started a friendship that started through maybe some heartache and pain, but we are going to be friends forever because of the bond we have. sincerely,ed to say, that we are with you. utah has been praying for you and so happy that you're coming home. utah wants to thank you, mr.
president, for making this happen. we would not be able to do this without you. here, we all worked together to make this happen. you do not know us, but we know you very well joshua, and we welcome you home. trump: thank you very much. every time i saw you i would say do not mention the name joshua, we are working on it. we really had a great team. great job. that weant to mention are doing very well in terms of the summit with north korea. it looks like it is going along very well. as you know, there are meetings going on as we speak in a certain location which i will not name.
i think there is a lot of good will. i think people want to see if we can get the meeting and get something done. if we can be successful in the denuclearization of the korean peninsula. great thing for north korea, south korea, japan, the world, the united states, china. a lot of people are working on it. it is moving along very nicely. we are looking at june 12 in singapore. that has not changed. it is moving along pretty well. we will see what happens. thank you all very much. we appreciate it. congratulations. [background chatter]
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