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Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson escorted by Turkish police officers as he arrives at his house on July 25, 2018 in Izmir. Photo: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

The White House announced Wednesday they have instructed the Treasury Department to implement sanctions against Turkey’s Minister of Justice and Minister of Interior for their roles in the arrest and detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

The backstory: Brunson was detained after the 2016 failed coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has been released from prison but remains under house arrest, facing terrorism and espionage charges, which he vehemently denies. His detention is a further point of contention with Erdoğan — with whom Trump had personally been friendly despite his increasingly authoritarian behavior.

Sanders added that President Trump had spoken to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about the matter explaining, "We’ve seen no evidence that Pastor Brunson has done anything wrong, and we believe he is a victim of unfair and unjust detention by the government of Turkey."

Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly responded to the sanctions and called on the Trump administration to reverse their decision explaining they "strongly protest" the decision.

  • "There is no doubt that the decision, which disrespectfully intervenes with our judicial system, stands in contrast to the essence of our relations and will seriously damage the constructive efforts made in order to resolve problems between the two countries."

Go deeper

Using apps to prevent deadly police encounters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Mobile phone apps are evolving in ways that can stop rather than simply document deadly police encounters with people of color — including notifying family and lawyers about potential violations in real time.

Why it matters: As states and cities face pressure to reform excessive force policies, apps that monitor police are becoming more interactive, gathering evidence against rogue officers as well as posting social media videos to shame the agencies.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
11 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.