>> We've seen no evidence that Pastor Brunson has done anything wrong.>> The White House, slapping sanctions on two top Turkish officials, in the fallout over US pastor Andrew Brunson. The Treasury Department, acting against Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, blaming both for being involved in Brunson's arrest and detention.
The move causing the Turkish lira to tumble to a record low Thursday, skidding past five to the dollar, it also hit local stocks.>>
> Speaking to reporters, President Tayyip Erdoğan say the threatening language used by the US won't benefit anyone. His foreign ministry says it'll retaliate.
Relations between the two allies have plummeted over Brunson. The pastor is on trial for terrorism charges, and was in custody for 21 months in a Turkish prison before being transferred to house arrest last week. Reuters bureau chief, Dominic Evans, says neither side is showing any sign it'll sway judicial events for the benefit of their ally.
>> President Erdogan has made a direct link between Brunson's fate and the fate of Fethullah Gulen, the cleric who has lived in the United States for two decades and who's blamed by Turkey for masterminding the failed coup of 2016. However, officials from both sides insist that the Turkish judiciary is independent of the Turkish government and the US judiciary's independent of the US government.
Earlier this week, a Turkish court rejected Brunson's appeal to be released from house arrest. He's due back in court now on October 12th, his case going directly to the top. President Trump has raised the case directly with Erdogan and after a deal for his release failed to materialize, the pressure is ramping up.