(CBSNEWS) – American pastor Andrew Brunson met with President Trump at the White House on Saturday, the day after he was released from Turkish custody. “From a Turkish prison to the White House in one day,” Mr. Trump said as he sat next to Brunson in the Oval Office.
Mr. Trump thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for Brunson’s release, saying that it “wasn’t easy” for the Turkish president. He also touted the number of prisoners held internationally that had been set free while he was president. “Chairman Kim was really great to us,” with regard to releasing prisoners, Mr. Trump said.
“You really galvanized this country,” Mr. Trump said. “Right now, the whole world is a fan of yours.”
Brunson thanked the administration for the efforts to get him released. He also said that he loved the “Turkish people.” Brunson then offered to pray with Mr. Trump, who responded that “I need it probably more than anybody else in this room.”
Brunson kneeled and placed his hand on the shoulder of the president and prayed with him. After the prayer, Mr. Trump asked Brunson who he voted for in 2016.
“I sent in an absentee ballot from prison,” Brunson said.