Trump says relationship with Putin will help win Gershkovich release

trump says relationship with putin will help win gershkovich release

Trump says relationship with Putin will help win Gershkovich release

Former President Trump said his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin will help free Evan Gershkovich, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal who has been detained in Russia for more than a year.

“Evan Gershkovich, the Reporter from The Wall Street Journal, who is being held by Russia, will be released almost immediately after the Election, but definitely before I assume Office,” Trump said in a post on Truth Social early Thursday morning. “He will be HOME, SAFE, AND WITH HIS FAMILY. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, will do that for me, but not for anyone else, and WE WILL BE PAYING NOTHING!”

In response to Trump, the Kremlin told the Journal “there is no contact between Putin and Trump on this matter.”

Trump previously said in an interview with Time magazine that he was not sure whether Gershkovich would get released while President Biden is in the White House.

“I think Biden has dealt with Putin very poorly. Putin should never have gone into Ukraine. And he didn’t go in for four years with me. I get along very well with Putin, but the reporter should be released and he will be released. I don’t know if he’s going to be released under Biden,” Trump said, per the Time transcript.

The former president also said he would attempt to get the Journal reporter released if he returns to the White House.

“I’m surprised that Biden. Well, I’m not surprised with anything with Biden. But I think it’s a terrible precedent. And I’m very surprised that he hasn’t been released, but I will get him released, if he’s not released by the time we get to office,” he said.

While speaking at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner last month, Biden noted Gershkovich’s situation.

“Evan went to report in Russia to shed light on the darkness that you all escaped from years ago,” the president said. “To the entire family, everyone in this hall stands with you. We’re working every day to secure his release, looking at opportunities and tools to bring him home. We keep the faith.”

In an emailed statement to The Hill, T.J. Ducklo, Biden campaign senior communications adviser, said that Trump “doesn’t give a damn about the innocent Americans unjustly imprisoned by Vladimir Putin.”

“Trump has called journalists ‘enemies of the people’ and pledged to imprison reporters whose coverage he doesn’t like – not all that dissimilar to what’s happening right now to Evan Gershkovich in Russia,” Ducklo said. “In fact, when he was in office, Trump passed up an opportunity to bring Paul Whelan home, who was detained on Trump’s watch.”

Trump has said he rejected a deal that would have brought Whelan home in exchange for the arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was part of a deal the Biden administration made to secure the release of Britney Griner, the WNBA superstar.

This story was updated at 12:46 p.m.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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