While there was no shortage of media fanfare for the slightest of achievements from President Donald Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, the pendulum has swung so far in the opposite direction for this president that even freeing an American citizen from captivity fails to garner much attention.
President Trump took to Twitter Monday afternoon to announce that Danny Burch has been freed after 18 months of captivity in Yemen.
Thanking the United Arab Emirates, the president tweeted: “It is my honor today to announce that Danny Burch, a United States citizen who has been held hostage in Yemen for 18 months, has been recovered and reunited with his wife and children. I appreciate the support of the United Arab Emirates in bringing Danny home…”
It is my honor today to announce that Danny Burch, a United States citizen who has been held hostage in Yemen for 18 months, has been recovered and reunited with his wife and children. I appreciate the support of the United Arab Emirates in bringing Danny home…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2019
In a pair of follow up tweets, Trump spoke about the priority of working “to bring Americans home.”
“Recovering American hostages is a priority of my Admin, and with Danny’s release, we have now secured freedom for 20 American captives since my election victory. We will not rest as we continue our work to bring the remaining American hostages back home!” the president tweeted.
Yet, you’d be hard pressed to know much about the “20 American captives” because the press appears disinterested, other than cursory coverage.
With the overwhelming negative media coverage of Trump, better than 90 percent according to a study conducted by the Media Research Center, there’s not much time for positive news, despite President Trump’s unrelenting effort to bring captured Americans home.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement thanking the Emiratis, Robert O’Brien, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the FBI’s Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell for the recovery of Burch.
“The United States expresses our deep gratitude to the United Arab Emirates, its people, and its leadership in facilitating the release of Mr. Burch. I applaud the innumerable lines of effort from across the U.S. Government to enable this effort, to include the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert O’Brien, U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi, and the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell. These efforts reflect the best of what America and its partners can accomplish,” the statement read.
Burch is married to a Yemeni national and works in the country for an oil company.
A deadly civil war has been raging in Yemen since 2015 and Burch’s abduction had been blamed on Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, NBC News reported.
He was reportedly kidnapped by the rebels in Sept. 2017.
His wife told the New York Times Burch was stopped by five armed men in civilian clothes after leaving their home in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, to take their sons to a sports club.
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