September 28, 2022

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has come out in opposition to fellow Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, claiming that the celeb physician can’t be simply trusted due to his ties to Turkey’s authorities. 

This assertion got here throughout a briefing by Pompeo, who served former President Donald Trump as CIA Director and as his high diplomat, to supporters of Ouncesrival David McCormick, a billionaire hedge fund CEO. Talking at a press convention, Pompeo raised questions particularly about Ouncess connections to Turkey’s authorities via his vote within the 2018 Turkish basic elections.

“We criticize American candidates on a regular basis as a result of they didn’t vote,” Pompeo mentioned. “That is totally different from that. Not solely did he not interact within the American [process] however he engaged within the Turkish political course of. That raises in my thoughts loads of judgments about his precedence.”

ABC Information was the primary to report that Oz, who holds twin citizenship within the U.S. and Turkey, voted in that 12 months’s Turkish elections. In a press release, Ouncesspokeswoman Brittany Yanick denied the vote must be thought of “political involvement” and mentioned Ouncesvoted for a candidate against Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On the briefing, Pompeo insisted that the query of whether or not Ouncesharbored any loyalty to Turkey was value scrutinizing. It was presumably all innocuous, he conceded, however the former diplomat went on to warning that the cloud of suspicion was to not be dismissed. 

Ouncess Turkish citizenship and enterprise dealings in Turkey have been a topic of curiosity from the start of his candidacy. Past voting in an election, Ouncesalso has a sponsorship take care of Turkish Airways, the nation’s nationwide flag service. He is also the proprietor of a number of properties in Turkey, together with one which he loans out to the Turkish Ministry of Training. 

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Nonetheless, Ouncess marketing campaign vigorously disputed any characterization of the candidate as probably disloyal to the U.S. In a press release, the marketing campaign blasted McCormick for partaking in a “pathetic and xenophobic” assault on Oz. 

Ouncesalso has one significantly highly effective backer in his nook who might not thoughts his ties to Turkey; former President Trump. 

Final month, Trump introduced that he would endorse Oz, citing his private relationship with him and their shared background on tv. The transfer was met with skepticism from these in Trump’s orbit and different Republicans, however Trump has remained supportive of Ouncesand has dedicated to marketing campaign on his behalf.

For his half, Trump additionally has achieved enterprise in Turkey and his household has shut connections with a number of distinguished members of the Turkish elite. When in workplace, Trump often defended Turkey from critics inside his personal administration and he proudly touted his friendship with President Erdogan.

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