NBC Whines About Trump Trying to Rescue American Pastor from Turkish Captivity

For months now, the Trump administration has been trying to get Turkey hand over American Christian pastor Andrew Brunson after he was arrested on what have been described as trumped-up charges linked to the failed military coup attempt in 2016. But during Monday’s NBC Nightly News, the network just wasn’t having it and was worried President Trump was the one hurting the relationship with a NATO ally.

Despite the fact that there was robust debate about whether or not Turkey really should be in NATO given the country’s totalitarian tendencies and closeness with the alliance’s enemy (Russia), anchor Lester Holt began the segment by declaring, “Tensions are reaching a boiling point between the U.S. and one of its NATO allies tonight.

Further disapproving of the U.S.’s more recent efforts to get an American citizen home, Holt noted that “Turkey is accusing the U.S. of trying to tank its economy after President Trump ordered new sanctions.” And in what appeared to some form of huff about the cost of retrieving one of his fellow citizens being too high, he added, “as our chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel explains, it can all be traced back to a fight over one American citizen.”

When they finally got around to Engel’s report, he too seemed to be taking Turkey’s side in the international incident they started. “Tonight, American pastor Andrew Brunson, under house arrest in Turkey, is at the center of a battle of wills. On one side, Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan. Today, accusing Washington of stabbing Turkey in the back,” he touted. “On the other side, President Trump playing hardball.”

 

 

Wouldn’t the real knife in the back be the supposed ally who arrested the other country’s citizen on trumped up charges? Nope, it’s the U.S. according to NBC:

Last week, administration doubled tariffs on Turkish metals exports sinking the currency 20 percent. Erdogan, in multiple impassioned speeches, urged Turks not to bow to American pressure he considers blackmail. Saying, “they have their dollars, we have our god.”

Clearly uninterested in what would happen to the American Christian pastor, Engel declared that “this crisis now goes beyond the fate of pastor Brunson.” “Turkey is a key NATO member and Erdogan, increasingly close to Russia's Vladimir Putin, says Turkey will seek new alliances if problems continue,” he argued, again failing to mention the debate amongst international experts about if Turkey really belonged in NATO to begin with.

When the U.S. first instituted those new sanctions on Turkey late last month, NBC Nightly News actually ignored them.

It’s sad that an American news outlet would side with a country that could reasonably be described as a ‘frienemy’ (especially one that does not value press freedoms like we do), and be so callous to the fate of an American citizen.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

 

 

NBC Nightly News
August 13, 2018
7:11:49 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Tensions are reaching a boiling point between the U.S. and one of its NATO allies tonight. Turkey is accusing the U.S. of trying to tank its economy after President Trump ordered new sanctions. And as our chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel explains, it can all be traced back to a fight over one American citizen.

[Cuts to video]

RICHARD ENGEL: Tonight, American pastor Andrew Brunson, under house arrest in Turkey, is at the center of a battle of wills. On one side, Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan. Today, accusing Washington of stabbing Turkey in the back. On the other side, President Trump playing hardball.

Last week, administration doubled tariffs on Turkish metals exports sinking the currency 20 percent. Erdogan, in multiple impassioned speeches, urged Turks not to bow to American pressure he considers blackmail. Saying, “they have their dollars, we have our god.”

Brunson has become the face of this angry impasse. Turkey accuses the pastor, a long-time resident of having contact with plotter whose tried and failed to overthrow Erdogan in a coup two years ago. The U.S. calls the claims baseless. But this crisis now goes beyond the fate of pastor Brunson. Turkey is a key NATO member and Erdogan, increasingly close to Russia's Vladimir Putin, says Turkey will seek new alliances if problems continue.

Amid the standoff, Brunson remains under guard, his passport seized. Richard Engel, NBC News.


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