WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 – Today Debra Tice, the mother of Austin Tice, a journalist and Marine veteran being held in Syria appeared on the highly rated television program Fox & Friends and made the following statement in response to questions.

“We are closer than we have ever been to having Austin safely home. We are tremendously grateful for President Trump’s commitment to bring Austin home; he has both the will and the ability to get this done.

Mr. President, as Commander in Chief we need you to step in and issue a direct order to your staff to maximize the effort and take the necessary steps to make this happen. Hopefully your people have told you what it takes. They tell me they need your orders.

We know you care deeply about Austin. We know you can get this done. We need you to oversee this until Austin is on the way home.

President Trump has one of the strongest records on bringing American hostages home. He has made a commitment to work hard to get Austin home. It is not too late to keep that commitment to Austin.”

Former Marine Captain Tice was working as a freelance journalist when he was abducted in Syria in 2012. More information can be found at austinticefamily.com. Austin’s work in Syria was recognized with a George Polk Award. He is a 2015 recipient of the National Press Club’s John Aubuchon Award for Press Freedom.