Turkey: Trump working on cleric’s extradition

Turkey's foreign minister said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpCoast Guard chief: 'Unacceptable' that service members must rely on food pantries, donations amid shutdown Dem lawmaker apologizes after saying it's never been legal in US to force people to work for free Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing MORE told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that the U.S. is working to extradite one of Erdoğan's political foes, Reuters reported.

Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Trump told Erdoğan during the Group of 20 Summit in Argentina that the U.S. is working to extradite exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of orchestrating a failed coup against the Turkish president in 2016.

“I have recently seen a credible probe by the FBI on how the Gülen organization avoids taxes,” Cavusoglu said, according to Reuters.


The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump pushed back last month on reports that the administration was considering extraditing Gülen amid an investigation into the death of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The president said Gülen's extradition was "not under consideration" at the time, though he added that the U.S. is always looking for "whatever we can do for Turkey."

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump has one final chance with American partners of first resort Trump administration’s top European diplomat to resign in February Brzezinski: 'I suspect' Dems will nominate woman in 2020, 'past time' to elect female president MORE acknowledged discussing Gülen's case with Turkish officials during a meeting after Khashoggi's death. 

The killing of the journalist has led to tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, as well as between Turkey and the kingdom. Erdoğan alleged that high-ranking Saudi officials were involved in Khashoggi's death, while the U.S. Senate last week passed a resolution stating the body found Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the journalist's killing.

The crown prince has denied involvement, though Saudi leadership has on multiple occasions changed its explanation of what happened to Khashoggi.