Thursday 27 June 2024

Trump Says WSJ Reporter Being Held In Russia ‘Will Be Released Prior To My Taking Office If I Win’

 Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has been detained by Russia on bogus espionage charges since March of 2023, but former President Donald Trump is confident that the journalist will be freed immediately if he wins the election in November.

Trump posted about Gershkovich on Wednesday morning as the 32-year-old journalist appeared in a Russian court for the start of his trial. The U.S. government has designated Gershkovich as “wrongfully detained,” and the WSJ holds that the accusations against its reporter are completely false.

“EVAN GERSHKOVICH, the young Wall Street Journal reporter who is being harshly detained in Russia as his ESPIONAGE TRIAL is about to begin, will be released prior to my taking office if I WIN the Election on NOVEMBER 5th,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “Crooked Joe can’t do anything right, although it is likely that he will pay $BILLIONS, which continues a very bad ‘Biden Precedent,’ to get Evan home. I got a record 58 hostages brought home, paying next to nothing. Putin has no respect for Biden – and that’s the way it goes!!! Fear not, Evan, I will get you home soon, and you will be safe while there!!!”

A senior Kremlin official told reporters on Wednesday that the Russian government is still open to a prisoner swap for the U.S. to get Gershkovich back home, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Biden administration previously negotiated a deal for the release of WNBA star Britney Griner from a Russian prison after she was arrested for allegedly entering the country with marijuana vaping materials.

Griner was freed in December 2022 after President Joe Biden agreed to hand over Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is known as the “merchant of death.” The WNBA player had been held in a Russian prison for nearly 10 months.

Gershkovich’s Russian imprisonment passed the one-year mark in March. He was on assignment for the WSJ in Russia when he was arrested by Russia’s Federal Security Service.

The reporter’s family released a statement on Wednesday, saying, “These past 15 months have been extraordinarily painful for Evan and for our family. We miss our son and just want him home. We’re deeply disappointed that he will have to endure further attempts to discredit him.”

Gershkovich’s next hearing is scheduled for August 13, according to Russian state news agency TASS.


Biden is also facing pressure to secure the release of other Americans, including Marine veteran Paul Whelan, who is being held in a Russian prison; humanitarian Ryan Corbett, who is in the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan; and five American hostages believed to be alive and in Hamas captivity after the terrorist organization’s October 7 attack on Israel.

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