Richard Grenell, a staunch ally of former President Trump, criticized former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday for his remarks airing concerns about Mehmet Oz, the Pennsylvania Senate candidate backed by Trump.

Pompeo criticized television’s Oz over his Turkish citizenship, accusing him of having ties to Turkey’s government.

“It’s frankly unAmerican to suggest that 1st and 2nd generation Americans are unworthy or suspect to work as U.S. Officials,” Grenell said in a tweet.

His post was accompanied with a screenshot of an announcement about Pompeo’s press briefing regarding “significant national security concerns” over Oz’s “close ties to the Turkish government and military.”

“Many have seen fascism and totalitarianism up close. They are the canaries in the coal mine warning Americans that socialism is dangerous,” added Grenell, who served as the Trump administration’s acting director of national intelligence and was formerly U.S. ambassador to Germany.

His comments follow a briefing Pompeo held last week over his concerns about Oz.

Pompeo has accused Oz of having ties to the Turkish government but said Oz’s opponent, David McCormick, is a “patriot.”

Oz’s citizenship has come up in the past when McCormick held a press call with Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) about the matter. 

Sullivan, who is part of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Oz’s Turkish citizenship could raise issues given information he would receive in the Senate on foreign affairs. But Oz has said that the concerns surrounding his citizenship are xenophobic.

The Pennsylvania Senate candidate says he maintains his Turkish citizenship to care for his mother but plans to renounce it if elected.

“My dual citizenship has become a distraction in this campaign,” Oz previously said in a statement. “I maintained it to care for my ailing mother, but after several weeks of discussions with my family, I’m committing that before I am sworn as the next U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania I will only be a U.S. citizen.” 

Tags Dan Sullivan Mehmet Oz Mike Pompeo Richard Grenell

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