Trump says WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich ‘will be released almost immediately’ after November election

Former President Donald Trump predicted Thursday that detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich will be released by Russia “almost immediately” following this year’s presidential election. In a post on his Truth Social account, Trump wrote “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, SAFE, AND WITH HIS FAMILY.” “Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, will do that for me, but not for anyone else, and WE WILL BE PAYING NOTHING!” Trump added. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, when asked about the matter on Thursday, said Putin has “not had contacts with Donald Trump,” according to Reuters. EVAN GERSHKOVICH WILL REMAIN JAILED THROUGH JUNE IN RUSSIA The 32-year-old Wall Street Journal reporter has been detained in Russia since March 2023 on espionage allegations that the U.S. government and his employer have called absurd. He recently lost another appeal to end his pretrial detention and will remain behind bars until at least June. Trump made a similar claim regarding Gershkovich at the end of April. “The reporter should be released, and he will be released,” Trump said during an interview with TIME. “I don’t know if he’s going to be released under [President] Biden. I would get him released.” PUTIN AND XI REAFFIRM ‘NO-LIMITS’ PARTNERSHIP AS MOSCOW INTENSIFIES OFFENSIVE IN UKRAINE The interview covered a wide range of Trump’s second-term ambitions, which included his plans for dealing with Putin. When pressed by TIME on why he hasn’t called for Gershkovich’s release on dubious spying charges, Trump replied, “I guess because I have so many other things I’m working on.” President Biden has called repeatedly for Gershkovich’s release and his administration has said it is working to bring both him and imprisoned American Paul Whelan home from Russia.  He mentioned Gershkovich during his address at the recent White House Correspondents’ Dinner, saying Putin should free him “immediately.” Fox News’ Gabriel Hays contributed to this report. 
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