White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced on Wednesday that President Donald Trump will sanction Turkish minister of justice and minister of interior over the imprisonment of American pastor Andrew Brunson. From CNBC:

“We’ve seen no evidence that pastor Brunson has done anything wrong and we believe he is a victim of unfair and unjust attention by the government of Turkey,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday.

“As a result, any property or interest in property of both ministers within U.S. jurisdiction is blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them,” Sanders added referring further questions to the Treasury Department.

In October 2016, Turkey detained American pastor Andrew Brunson because he was accused of spying and attempting to overthrow the government. Brunson has denied all charges.

Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have intensified over Brunson’s trial and his continued detainment. Ankara recently transferred the American citizen to house arrest. Last week, President Donald Trump threatened to slap “large sanctions” on Turkey unless it freed Brunson.

“The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!”


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