NBC News | Oct. 11, 2018
The White House expects North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson to be released by the Turkish government and returned to the U.S. in the coming days, two years after he was detained, according to two senior administration officials and another person briefed on the matter.
Under an agreement senior Trump administration officials recently reached with Turkey, Brunson is supposed to be released after certain charges against him are dropped at his next court hearing, currently scheduled for Friday, the senior administration officials and a person briefed on the matter said.
The Trump administration, however, isn’t fully confident that Turkey will follow through with the Brunson agreement because Ankara was close to a commitment to release him several months ago but did not, one senior administration official said.
“We continue to believe Pastor Brunson is innocent, and the hearing on Friday is another opportunity for the Turkish judicial system to free an American citizen,” a third senior administration official said.