White House confirms Trump call congratulating Turkish leader

White House confirms Trump call congratulating Turkish leader
© Getty Images

President Trump phoned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to congratulate him on winning a referendum that will grant the foreign leader broader powers, Erdoğan's office and the White House said Monday. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Turkey said in a press release that Trump offered Erdoğan his congratulations and also thanked him for supporting the recent U.S. airstrike against the regime of Syrian leader Bashar Assad. 

The White House released a read out of the call later Monday night, listing the same talking points.

Trump called the Turkish leader to "congratulate him on his recent referendum victory and to discuss the United States’ action in response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons" earlier this month, according to the White House.

Both leaders agreed about the "importance of holding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accountable," and called for cooperation against terror groups. 

News of the call comes as opposition groups in Turkey have contested the results of the referendum. The State Department told Washington Hatti on Sunday that it was following the results and would "refrain from commenting until the results have been confirmed and OSCE/ODIHR has reported on its initial findings." 

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and it's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights had international observers in Turkey to monitor the referendum.

The referendum would institute constitutional reforms, including giving Erdoğan broader powers to appoint ministers and judges. It would also reportedly eliminate the country’s office of prime minister.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said during his daily briefing the administration is waiting on the results of a report on the fairness of the referendum vote.

Erdoğan has moved to tighten his control in Turkey after a failed coup in 2016.

Trump also spoke to Erdoğan in February, in a call reaffirming Turkey as a strong NATO ally.

This story was updated at 8:43 p.m.