Trump Strikes Secret Deal with Putin for Release of Journalist Detained in Russia On One Condition

by Jessica
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Former President Donald Trump has reiterated his assertion that Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich would be released from Russian detention if he were to be re-elected. Gershkovich, who was arrested in March 2023 on spying charges, has languished in a Moscow prison for over a year without a scheduled trial date.

According to a report by Raw Story on Tuesday, June 4, Trump’s recent remarks mark the second time in as many weeks that he has suggested Russian President Vladimir Putin would release Gershkovich as a personal favor upon his re-election.

In a video statement posted on Truth Social, Trump assured Gershkovich’s imminent release, stating, “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.

He will be home, he will be safe. Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, will do that for me, and I don’t believe he’ll do it for anyone else, and we will be paying nothing. Biden likes to pay massive numbers. We will be paying nothing.”

Trump’s assertion has faced considerable backlash, with critics accusing him of exploiting Gershkovich’s plight for political gain. Marine Corps veteran Trevor Reed, who himself was detained in Russia before being released in a 2022 prisoner swap after nearly three years of captivity, condemned Trump’s claims.

“As a former wrongful detainee in Russia, I would just like to remind everyone that President Trump had the ability to get myself and Paul Whelan out of Russia for years and chose not to,” Reed stated. The authenticity of Trump’s commitment to Gershkovich’s release has been called into question, with some noting a discrepancy in the video statement.

The camera angle changes midway through the 30-second clip, indicating that it may have been recorded in multiple takes and then spliced together. This has led to speculation regarding the sincerity of Trump’s promise and whether it was merely a calculated political maneuver.

Constitutional law professor and political scientist Anthony Michael Kreis of Georgia State University College of Law criticized Trump’s approach, suggesting that it could backfire. “Trump – in his infinite stupidity – has, by some measure, probably decreased the chance Putin will release Evan Gershkovich before the election now. What a fool,” Kreis remarked.

The ongoing detention of Evan Gershkovich underscores the precarious situation faced by journalists working in hostile environments and the challenges of securing their release. With Trump’s comments adding a new layer of complexity to the situation, the fate of Gershkovich remains uncertain.

As the political rhetoric intensifies, the focus shifts from diplomatic negotiations to the exploitation of international crises for domestic political gain. Whether Trump’s assurances hold any weight or are merely empty promises remains to be seen, leaving Gershkovich and his loved ones in a state of limbo as they await resolution.

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