WASHINGTON – Rev. Andrew Brunson kneeled next to President Donald Trump Saturday afternoon, put his hand on the president's shoulder and prayed.
Everybody in the Oval Office watching immediately became silent as Brunson, an American pastor who hours earlier had been freed from Turkey after two years of detainment, asked God to give Trump "supernatural wisdom" to accomplish his plans for the country.
Brunson prayed that Trump would have the strength to stand for "truth", be protected from "slander", and that God would make the president a "great blessing" to the country.
For Brunson, it was a blessing to be back in America after spending two years being detained in Turkey on terrorism charges. He met with Trump, who helped negotiate the American pastor's release, during a Saturday press conference.
Brunson thanked Trump and the administration for fighting on behalf of his family and told reporters they would take time as a family to see what God wants for then next. Brunson said he does eventually plan to talk about his detainment.
Trump said everybody in Oval Office was a big fan of Brunson and his family.
"And right now the whole world is a fan of yours," Trump said. "The whole world is your fan and your family’s fan."
Brunson, a Christian missionary who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was arrested in 2016 and accused of plotting to overthrow the government of Turkey, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He had rejected the allegations.
Trump had clashed with Erdogan over Brunson’s case – going so far as to slap sanctions and tariffs on Turkey earlier this year to pressure the Turkish leader.
Trump re-emphasized Saturday that "no deal" was made with Turkey for Brunson's release but the matter was a showing of good will that could repair the relationship between both countries.
"There was absolutely no deal made," Trump said during the meeting with Brunson.
Brunson's successful release Friday is just the latest for the Trump administration, something the president was quick to showcase.
"We bring a lot of people back and that's good," the president said.
Brunson, who has family roots in North Carolina, has been under house arrest with his wife Norine – forbidden from leaving his guarded apartment in Izmir, a city on Turkey's southwest coast.
Brunson previously served 20 months in a Turkish jail. He could have faced up to 35 years in prison. His supporters have said the charges against him are absurd.
Contributing: Deirdre Shesgreen and John Fritze