Senator Steve Daines emphasized that it was a team effort to get Guthrie McLean released from the detention center in China.
He said he received an email from Jennifer McLean, Guthrie’s mother, at 11:53 AM Mountain Time saying, “Prayers answered. Guthrie is home.”
Daines said he has been in contact with the highest level of the Chinese government and is pleased with the outcome.
He has had countless phone calls and email threads with Terry Branstad, the U.S. Ambassador to China and Cui Tiankai, the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S.
They were all working 20-hour days this past week.
Daines said that more information of the negotiations will be released early next week because he wants to respect the privacy of the McLean family.
Daines facetimed with Guthrie and his mother this morning and explained that Guthrie is in good condition and spirits.
Guthrie’s mother was also thrilled to have her son back.
Daines communicated with Guthrie’s mother by email because she is deaf.
Daines said that Guthrie’s mother was very responsive and prolific over email.
Daines also had third parties get information from Guthrie in the detention center, which then got passed to Jennifer, and then eventually to Daines and his office.
Guthrie’s mother emphasized to Daines that she is not reflecting negatively on the Chinese people and is very gracious to have lived in China for nearly 20 years.
Daines emphasized how his relationship with Ambassador Branstad really helped in this situation because they had been working together on a prior project to remove the ban on U.S. beef imports into China.
Daines is really happy to hear the great news and is very thankful for the U.S. Embassy staff in Beijing and the U.S Consulate staff in Guhan for their hard work.