Gauntlet thrown: Trump demands release of U.S. pastor held in Turkey
In a Thursday evening tweet, President Trump expressed his frustration with the nation of Turkey and the Erdogan regime’s imprisonment of American Pastor Andrew Brunson.
The president tweeted:
“Turkey has taken advantage of the United States for many years. They are now holding our wonderful Christian Pastor, who I must now ask to represent our Country as a great patriot hostage. We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey!”
It is likely that Pastor Brunson is being used as a bargaining chip to negotiate the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania and one of the chief rivals of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan has claimed, without much evidence, that Gulen is behind plots to overthrow his rule in Ankara.
As Turkey continues to devolve into an Islamic authoritarian regime, Ankara progresses in distancing itself from the United States. The technical NATO ally has found new partners in American adversaries such as Russia and Iran, while cozying up to rogue actors like Qatar.
A cautionary tale: Yazidi woman flees Germany after encountering ISIS captor
A young Yazidi woman and her family have been forced to flee Germany after its open immigration system allowed one of her captors to secure refugee status inside the country.
“I ran away from Iraq so I would not see that ugly face and forget anything that reminds me of it, but I was shocked to see him in Germany,” Ashwaq Haji Hamid, the Yazidi refugee, told InfoMigrants.
Hamid is just one victim of the open migration system in Germany, which allows hundreds of thousands of Middle Easterns to flood into the country — and many other European nations — completely unchecked.
The story from Germany is a cautionary tale for what open borders and unchecked migration can look like. Our refugee vetting system is very imperfect, as shown through the arrest of an ISIS terrorist in Sacramento this week. The man slipped through the U.S. refugee vetting process, as authorities later found out that he was an ISIS jihadi when living in Iraq.
Manafort trial comes to a close
The jury is currently deliberating whether or not to convict Paul Manafort on several charges related to bank and tax fraud. Although Mueller has been tasked with investigating Russian actions and interference related to the 2016 election, none of the charges from Mueller’s prosecutors have anything to do with Russian collusion or any of the events surrounding his short stint as President Trump’s election campaign chairman.
Mueller is now in the fifteenth month of his investigation into Trump-Russia collusion. He has yet to charge a single member of President Trump’s campaign or transition team with anything related to Russian collusion.
POTUS may revoke DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s clearance
Bruce Ohr is believed to be a central player in the laundering of the anti-Trump dossier — which came from paid Clinton operatives — into the Department of Justice. There’s also evidence that he frequently communicated with foreign spy Christopher Steele, who produced the Trump-Russia dossier for the Clinton campaign.
President Trump suggested Friday that Ohr may have his clearance revoked imminently.
When asked about Ohr’s clearance, the president responded: “I suspect I’ll be taking it away very quickly. For him to be in the Justice Department and doing what he did, that is a disgrace.”
Author’s note: This post originally appeared in CRTV’s The Dossier newsletter. For foreign policy news and views delivered to your inbox twice a week, subscribe here!