Pastor Andrew Brunson at the White House CSPAN October 13, 2018 7:00pm-7:27pm EDT
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released yesterday after spending two years in a turkish version -- turkish prison on espionage charges. president trump escorts him to the oval office. there, he took questions. >> hello, how are you? we will see you in the oval office. you made a great journey, incredible journey actually, and we are going to talk about it a little bit in a few minutes. are you all set? everything good? we will see you in the oval office. thank you. [indiscernible chapter] indiscernible chatter] this was a long
journey, but for andrew, it has been a very interesting day, prison toom a turkish the white house in 24 hours. that's not bad actually. [applause] and i want to start by saying that noreen was unbelievable. she was calling and calling, and she definitely love you, let me put it that way. she was calling and she wanted you out. and she was not playing games, and we are very proud of you. thank you very much. and you are very, very special to all of us. and we have some of our great leaders right here, you know jane, you know cindy, you know you knowyou know tom, patrick, you know mark and all of these people right back year, a held group of people. they fought so hard for you, they wanted you out.
and we have been negotiating long and hard and we do not pay ransom in this country any longer. ransom, otherwise you have big problems and lots of things will happen, lots of bad things will happen. but i still want to thank president are to wan -- dogan, we had a good relationship and i'm really surprised we didn't work this out a couple of months ago. but it started with a different administration and they were going to work out anything. and we took it over, we inherited it, and i think we have gotten 19 different people out of there is countries that were being held. was really great to us. i think that started the relationship we have now in north korea, with three hostages, as you know.
had, they said a spy, she was sentenced to 25 years, they told president obama, we will not let her out under any circumstances, and they told me she will be of the oval office and 24 hours. we all know that because we worked on that one too, and many others, many others. so i just want to congratulate you, because you have galvanized this country. take a look at this. there is so much interest, and it is your faith, it is your strength, what you have gone through. i know what you have gone through. ad i also know that there was time where we were able to get you from the prison to the house. and i have to say it was not a easy situation for turkey, either. they had a lot of different
situations going on at a want to thank president erdogan, it wasn't easy, and it wasn't easy for him. most importantly, i want to congratulate you and your family . you may want to thank all of these great leaders, because they were really calling me a lot. they called me to much -- too much. [laughter] years, theg fans of world is your fan and your family's fans. so maybe you could say a few words, interview sure family, and it is a great honor to have you home. pastor brunson: this is my daughter jacqueline, my son blake, jaclyn's husband kevin and my oldest son jordan. this is my wife. we want to thank the administration. fromeally fought for us,
the time you took office i know you have been engaged, and secretary of state pompeo was very engaged and fought for us, and vice president pence, and we are grateful to mr. bolton. there are a number of people in the senate, and i can mention everyone but i know that senator tellis visited me, so did senator shaheen and senator graham and senator langford has been involved from the very beginning, so we are grateful to so many people in congress who stood with us, who prayed for us and who fog for us. so we want to thank you all. president trump: we did leave out many people in the senate, many people in the house, you know that, patrick. many people have been left out, and we just can't go through all the names, but it was everybody that wanted this to happen. it was really everybody in the complete senate.
i think we can probably say this was bipartisan, do you agree? if there was ever a bipartisan event this was it. and i do have to thank vice president pence. he is doing a terrific job and felt very strongly about this, and secretary of state pompeo. i would say we spoke about this at least once a day. we thought we had it done two months ago. out,imes it doesn't work but i can tell you it's better than anyone else could have done, and we are honored to have -- honored toing have you. anything you would like to say before you go home and relax and celebrate another great life? i won't ask if you're going back to turkey. i'd won't ask that question -- i won't ask that question. pastor brunson: we do love turkey. we lived there for 25 years and love their people. president trump: i know you do
love the turkish people. they are great people. i know that. they are great people. would brunson: we like to pray for you. we pray for you often, my wife and i. president trump: thank you. i needed more than anybody in this room. so thank you. pastor brunson: lord i ask that you give your spirit to wisdom for his, plans for this country. i ask you to give him wisdom and righteousness. i ask that you give him perseverance and endurance and courage stand for the truth. them from you protect slander, from enemies, from those who would undermine, and i
ask of you make him a great lesson to this country. fill him with your wisdom and strength and perseverance, and we bless him. to he be a great blessing our country. in jesus' name, we bless him. amen. >> i pray that the spirit of the lord rests on the president, a spirit of wisdom and understanding and knowledge and fear of the lord. amen. president trump: could i ask you one question? who did you vote for? [laughter] i knew the answer. i knew the answer. it's a little unfair. i knew the answer. i would never do that. that could be tough. listen, congratulations and thank you. great family and fantastic children. it's an honor.
and again, to president or do erdogan, thank you very much, to the people of turkey, thank you very much. i think this would be a big step to our relationship. we have had a harsh relationship over the past few months because of all was happening. i'm not going to blame fault. i'm not what to say anything. i will just say this is a tremendous step toward having the kind of relationship with turkey, which can be a great relationship, that i know we are going to have. so thank you very much. thank you, everybody. any questions? reporter: what do you plan on doing now that you're back safely? want to spend: we time with our children and take some time to pray and see what god wants for the next part of our lives. reporter: [indiscernible]
pastor brunson: i think we will do that in the future. we will probably be doing some interviews. this is a time to thank the administration and people in government who supported us, and that is especially what we wanted to say, our gratefulness, say that we love this country. last night we arrived in germany on a plane president trump sent , and the ambassador to germany met us there at 1:30 in the morning. i couldn't believe it. he had an american flag to give us that had flown over berlin. and i took it and i kissed it. i love this country and we pray for this country. reporter: what do you owe the pastor brunson's release, and is the
possible murder of jamaal khasho ggi a factor? president trump: the timing is a coincidence. i've heard people say that could be tricky. the timing, no. it's a coincidence. it's interesting, a lot of things happening in a certain part of the world. you know that. you know what else is going on. there are probably things beyond that. but no, it is a strict coincidence. reporter: if i could follow up on something you said at the beginning. there could be serious repercussions for saudi arabia if the u.s. determines khashoggi. jamal what you have in mind? president trump: we will be sitting with the folks here and have to make a determination. for the very hard military, $110 billion, the largest order ever made.
it is 150 thousand jobs, the best equipment in the world, but if they don't buy it from us they are going to buy from russia or they are going to buy it from china or they are going to buy from other countries. but russia and china wanted very badly. i got almost 100% of their order the standpoint of jobs, economic development, a lot of other reasons, i would like to do something where we could maybe look at other things. i will tell the senators, because that's a tremendous ader for our companies, tremendous order for really from an economic development standpoint eerie look at texas has a big chunk of it. almost all of our states are involved in that order. so i actually think we would be punishing ourselves if we did that. otherare the things -- things we could do that are very powerful, very strong. as of this moment, nobody knows what happened. as of this moment. we are looking into it very,
very seriously, turkey is looking into it at the highest level and so is saudi arabia. they are going to get back and they
have been getting back and mike has been dealing with them and john has been dealing with them, but in terms of the order of $110 billion, think of that, when hundred $10 billion, all they are going to do is give it to other countries and i think that would be very foolish for our country. or of the things we can do that will be very severe. example? what is an president trump: there are many things we can do. would you like to speak up about that, james? i don't what to put you on the spot, but if you guys would like them some of the many things we can do, it's a big list. have a long-standing partnership with saudi arabia and a lot of areas. my first preference, let's find out what did happen first. fiancee is still waiting to
find out what happened. there was a lot of speculation. to take the know, next step, just to be able to see. we have invited his fiancee. we have invited her. she wrote a letter to myself and the first lady, a beautiful herer, and we have invited and i believe they are working it out where she will be coming. i would love to have her. point -- at this point it is looking like, it is looking like he perhaps won't be, or isn't around. and that's very sad. i think we would have known by now. that was our first help. our first hope was that he was not killed, but maybe that is not looking, not looking too good. >> there is a lot still to learn, i think. president trump: there is a lot to learn. reporter: what about the others in prison in turkey, the other
he u.s. citizens -- the other u.s. citizens? president trump: as you speak we are working on that. and by the way, other peoples that are in prisons in other countries other than turkey, we have other people that had been there for many years. we have done very well. the 18 at least 18, and or people they said would never ever be freed. pastor brunson was one of them. we were talking before, how many years was it? it's a very scary number. pastor brunson: they wanted her to five years. youident trump: they wanted in jail for 35 years. so we have many people throughout the world and other countries, and we are working very hard. all of this group, we are working very hard to take care of that situation. reporter: what about the saudi behavior?
to seent trump: we have what happened. as james said, let's determine what happened. there are plenty of things we can do that a very tough. let's see what happened first. reporter: have you seen the video or audio? president trump: i have not. have you seen it? >> mr. president, i have not seated. have all trump: we heard about the audio. nobody has seen it. i guess it's a combination of seeing it and listening to it. we are going to be seeing it. i've spoken to him many times about this but i haven't called him yet. i will also be calling to s of saudi arabiaalman -- carrying king s arabia, because
i think it's appropriate for me to ask him what happened. i will be calling him tomorrow. someone asked me about other american prisoners in turkey. dealing with the consulate there, they have been very involved with us, and excellent an excellentre -- consulate there, that they weren't only engaging for me, they were engaging for everyone there. from talkingust with the consulate staff when they would visit me in prison, that they work involved very much in advocating for the other prisoners. say,dent trump: i have to with respect to turkey or saudi arabia, when you look at what is going on in iran and other places, it is really bad. it is really bad. there are bad things going on in that part of the world, and frankly in other parts of the world also. any other questions?
reporter: you talked about , and othereld abroad administrations. president trump: they are tending not to take them from our administration, and i like that. i think i could tell you why, but i won't. but they tend not to take them during our administration, and it is going to stay that way. [indiscernible] president trump: i did. i thought you was fantastic. i thought the first lady was fantastic last night. i hope i do as well on 60 minutes tomorrow. if i don't, that's ok. reporter: what about secretary mnuchin's comments? we need to evaluate the facts and make the decision. i talked to secretary mnuchin last night. we will be taking a look at it throughout the week.
reporter: talk about the sanctions. president trump: we were tough on turkey and the was absolutely no deal made. the only deal was a psychological one. we feel much different about turkey today than we did yesterday, and i think we have a chance of really becoming much closer to turkey, and maybe us even having a very good relationship. we know the people, and these are incredible people. the people of turkey are incredible people, and i think we have a chance now to really have a great relationship with turkey. i hope that happens, ok? richard, do you have anything to say, richard burr? we welcome the pastor back to north carolina. he has been missed. , tohis work in turkey spread the word of jesus christ, is absolutely crucial and it is a foundational thing about this
country, the united states, and that is why we love him so much. welcome home. president trump: tom? tom: pastor brunson, you mentioned the state team. the folks on the ground in turkey am of the two times i was there, were amazing to work with. they deserve a lot of credit. i know how many times they met with you, and how much time they spent with noreen, and we are proud of them. they have done an extraordinary job. thank you. [applause] president trump: he doesn't speak good english anymore. he forgot english. he spent a lot of time over there. fantastic. great job. patrick? patrick: what a special guy. what a special man of christ. andomes to the oval office instead of saying thank you for your prayers, he says let me pray for you, mr. president. what a special statement, and what a special statement about what you have done personally.
the delegation from north carolina worked on this release for a very long time, but things changed when this administration and the correct -- and the direct involvement of the secretary of state and you, mr. president of the vice president has made all the difference. we are so grateful to see a happy family all back together once again. president trump: thank you. that's her nice. mark? mark: pastor, welcome home. one champion in the president of the united states, but he was the answer to millions of prayers that went up on behalf of your family. so thank you for keeping the for the entireu team and praise god for a wonderful celebration today, and thank you mr. president. thank you,rump: mark, very much.
>> both of them were just so wonderful. president trump: before james goes, you know how james has i would like you to say something on behalf of your husband, because you know exactly what was going on. it was hard for him and really the lord pulled him through grade i think it was a great testimony in turkey. we would like people to know who we really are there, that we were really there to bless the country. that is our desire. forident trump: thank you your bravery and everything else. how about you? >> i want to say thank you for all your involvement. i don't think we would be sitting here right now if it were not for your involvement and your strong stance. so thank you. president trump: i appreciate it. thank you very much.
>> i wanted to say thank you for everything you have done. i know you and the vice president worked really hard, and it wasse people, really hard, like, my dad being gone, so thank you for bringing him back. president trump: well, you have got great errands, and it's terrific. we will close it out with you and say we are so happy. please.nkford, go ahead sen. lankford: thank you, mr. president. faced personal risk to yourself, and this process has been awe-inspiring for many of us to watch as well. we are incredibly grateful for you to be home and we look celebrationaving a day like this for other americans from turkey who need , to be able as well
to finish that out. we look forward to getting those individuals resolved as well and back home. and today we are just grateful after two very long years for you to be home. i look forward to hearing your stories about driving through drive-through zen getting a hamburger and going to hang out and go into your own church and being able to relax and be with family. forward to those days of you not being on the front page of a paper and just reading back to being americans again. so welcome home. president trump: thank you, james. 2018 debatecampaign
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