President Donald Trump accomplished something without fanfare Thursday that his predecessor apparently couldn’t.
The author of “The Art of the Deal” closed one of the most important deals of his life when he negotiated the release of an Egyptian-American charity worker who had been rotting in a Cairo jail cell for three years.
Egyptian American imprisoned in Egypt for 3 years has landed in U.S. after Trump administration negotiated release https://t.co/5ACwU6Fc4s
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 21, 2017
The president and his staff had been working for the release of Aya Hijazi, 30, a U.S. citizen, her Egyptian husband, Mohamed Hassanein as well as four other humanitarian workers, according to The Washington Post, which reported:
The couple and their co-workers had been incarcerated since May 1, 2014, on child abuse and trafficking charges that were widely dismissed by human rights workers and U.S. officials as false. Virtually no evidence was ever presented against them, and for nearly three years they were held as hearings were inexplicably postponed and trial dates canceled. Human rights groups alleged that they were abused in detention.
The Obama administration’s petitions to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to release the prisoners were unsuccessful. As late as last December, Egyptian authorities challenged the notion that Hijazi was being held on bogus charges.
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) December 6, 2016
It wasn’t until Trump stepped in and reset American-Egyptian relations that any headway was reached.
The process of shoring up relations began on April 3, when Trump welcomed el-Sisi to the White House and announced at a joint press conference that he was “very much behind” the Egyptian president.
At that meeting, Trump described the el-Sisi’s leadership as “fantastic” and offered the U.S. government’s “strong backing.” Relations began to thaw at that point.
The process bore fruit last Sunday when a Cairo court announced that it was dropping all charges against Hijazi and her husband, as well as all the other humanitarian workers.
At that point Trump ordered that a U.S. government aircraft be dispatched to bring them all home.
The president met with a beaming Hijazi at the White House. Home at last!
“We are very happy to have Aya back home”: Trump meets freed American-Egyptian aid workerpic.twitter.com/bTvOUTeE3Q
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 21, 2017
Folks on social media couldn’t help but compare this prisoner release to the one the Obama administration negotiated with Iran. That one was little more than a ransom payment and ended up costing the taxpayers big time.
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— Ed L’amour (@edlamour) April 21, 2017
— Billy Jr (@BillyJrPatriot) April 21, 2017
@washingtonpost Not a Trump fan at all or sure of the deal made..but when someone is brought home, he should get recognition! This is good.
— Tina 🇺🇸 (@tinaalicia70) April 21, 2017
— Ben Smith (@GuyBuckeye) April 21, 2017
@washingtonpost That’s a nice story. I give kudos for that. Maybe negotiated when el-Sisi was here?
— sandra rapke (@szeer) April 21, 2017
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said it all when he observed that President Trump “always finds a way to get it done.”