According to former Central Intelligence Agency director James Woolsey, President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, talked with top Turkish officials last September regarding the removal of a Turkish cleric believed to be the cause of last year’s failed coup.
The cleric was to be sent to Ankara, Woolsey told reporters, claiming that the conversation “seemed to be naïve.”
“I didn’t put a lot of credibility in it,” he said. “This is a country of legal processes and a Constitution, and you don’t send out folks to haul somebody overseas.”
Woolsey claims that he came into the middle of said conversation, which took place in New York City, and noted that the plan to oust the cleric, reportedly named Fethullah Gulen, was a “covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away.”
Ultimately concerned about the legality of the plan, Woolsey told reporters that since he had no specifics, he kept silent about the situation until “he notified Vice President Biden through a mutual friend.”
A spokesman for Flynn denies the allegations, stating that “at no time did Gen. Flynn discuss any illegal actions, nonjudicial physical removal, or any other such activities.”
Flynn was actually talking about his company’s “work for Inovo that included gathering information that could lead to a legal case against Mr. Gulen.”
Gulen has said that he was not involved in the failed coup, but the Turkish government wants him to be extradited.
It was noted in the report that Flynn “registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for $530,000 worth of lobbying work before Election Day that may have aided the Turkish government.”
Earlier this month, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the president didn’t know Flynn was consulting on behalf of the Turkish government.
Flynn wrote an op-ed in November in which he called Turkey our “strongest ally against the Islamic State” and described Gulen as “a shady Islamic mullah residing in Pennsylvania.”
“Gulen portrays himself as a moderate, but he is, in fact, a radical Islamist. He has publicly boasted about his ‘soldiers’ waiting for his orders to do whatever he directs them to do. If he were, in reality, a moderate, he would not be in exile, nor would he excite the animus of [Prime Minister] Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government,” he wrote.
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