Andrew Brunson

Glenn Fawcett / Wikimedia Commons

South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham wants to avoid further sanctions on Turkey that he says could hurt a fiber plant in Anderson County.  

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. is imposing sanctions against two high-level Turkish officials, retaliating for what the Treasury Department calls the "unfair and unjust detention" of an American pastor in Izmir. The penalties announced Wednesday, which aim to punish the chiefs of Turkey's ministries of justice and the interior, mark a significant escalation in the recent frictions between the two key NATO allies.

AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spoken to his Turkish counterpart about a North Carolina pastor detained on terrorism and espionage charges.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is threatening sanctions against Turkey if the U.S. ally does not release an American pastor being held there on accusations of terror and espionage.

At a State Department event on religious freedom Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence called for Brunson's immediate release.

AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE

A North Carolina pastor who has been in Turkish custody for nearly two years on terror and espionage charges will be put under house arrest as his trial continues.

AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE

A Turkish court on Wednesday again denied a request for the release from custody of a North Carolina pastor based in Turkey who is on trial on charges of aiding terror groups and engaging in espionage.

Sen. Thom Tillis spoke during debate on the budget agreement Thursday.
C-SPAN

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis took to the Senate floor today to call out the Turkish government for imprisoning a pastor originally from North Carolina.

North Carolina U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis spoke during a visit to U.S. Army Reserve Command headquarters, Fort Bragg, N.C., April 8, 2015.
Brian Godette / U.S. Army Reserve

A pastor with roots in North Carolina who has been accused of aiding a failed 2016 coup d’etat in Turkey and has been held in prison ever since has lost 50 pounds amid deteriorating health, says U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, who visited the pastor Monday.