US President Donald Trump thanked Turkey on Saturday for freeing American pastor Andrew Brunson after two years in custody and said it would help improve strained relations, but Trump denied cutting a deal for Brunson's release.
"There was NO DEAL made with Turkey for the release and return of Pastor Andrew Brunson. I don’t make deals for hostages. There was, however, great appreciation on behalf of the United States, which will lead to good, perhaps great, relations between the United States & Turkey!" Trump tweeted.