(THE HILL) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday accused American pastor Andrew Brunson of having “dark links with terror,” indicating he is not backing down from Brunson’s detainment.

Erdogan, in a speech to the Turkish parliament, said he intends to push back against President Trump’s campaign for Brunson’s release, saying he will resist “this crooked understanding, which imposes sanctions using the excuse of a pastor who is tried due to his dark links with terror organizations,” according to Reuters.

The U.S. in recent months has ramped up pressure on Turkey to release Brunson by imposing sanctions and threatening tariffs against Turkey.