Cheney calls for Turkish leader's bodyguards to be banned from re-entering US

Cheney calls for Turkish leader's bodyguards to be banned from re-entering US
© Greg Nash

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Stopgap spending bill includes military pay raise | Schumer presses Pentagon to protect impeachment witnesses | US ends civil-nuclear waiver in Iran Cruz, Graham and Cheney call on Trump to end all nuclear waivers for Iran Pompeo: US ending sanctions waiver for site where Iran resumed uranium enrichment MORE (R-Wyo.) is calling on the State Department to bar any individuals who traveled with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2017 and took part in an assault on U.S. citizens outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence from re-entering the country this week.

The request from the House Republican Conference chairwoman comes as Erdoğan is due to meet with President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence MORE at the White House on Wednesday.

In a letter sent to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHillicon Valley: Amazon alleges Trump interfered in Pentagon contract to hurt Bezos | Federal council warns Trump of cyber threats to infrastructure | China to remove foreign technology from government offices Trump, Russian foreign minister to meet Tuesday Impeachment, Ukraine, Syria and warheads color Washington visit by top Russian diplomat MORE on Monday, Cheney — who has risen to become one of the most prominent GOP voices on foreign policy — noted the 2017 attack was not the first instance of such violence, stating “Erdoğan’s thugs have used authoritarian tactics” against Americans during visits to the U.S. in the past.


“During his last visit to Washington, D.C. in 2017, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's so-called 'security detail' brutally attacked peaceful demonstrators outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence,” she wrote.  

“At least eleven people were injured throughout the day, including law enforcement personnel who every day defend Americans' constitutional rights and physical safety.”

The Wyoming Republican — who has been highly critical of the administration’s decision to pull troops out of northern Syria ahead of a Turkish attack on Kurdish allies last month — said the behavior might be routine in Turkey but that it should not be brought to the U.S.

“It is wrong and disturbing there, and it is an affront to American values and entirely unwelcome here. The Erdoğan regime's use of violence against innocent civilians anywhere is inhumane, uncivilized, and unacceptable,” she continued. 

Cheney specifically requested the State Department make assurances that "none of the people who were in the United States with President Erdoğan in 2017 and participated in physical attacks on American citizens—including those protesting lawfully, our secret service, our diplomatic service, and our law enforcement officials—will be allowed into the United States again this week."

Cheney also called on State to ensure that "if any of these people do arrive with President Erdoğan, they will be immediately expelled from the United States.” 

The lawmaker went on to state she welcomes U.S. citizens peacefully protesting Erdoğan's visit, adding it’s critical to allow people to exercise their First Amendment rights. 

Her letter comes as a group of bipartisan lawmakers has called on the president to rescind his invitation for Erdoğan to come to the White House on Wednesday, citing concerns over Turkey's incursion on northern Syria.