Documents Requested on Trump’s Ties With Erdogan
President Trump is making headlines due to his alleged links to Turkish President Erdogan.
This week, Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote a letter to the director of national intelligence.
In it, he asked that Robert O’Brien provide documents detailing what he has described as Trump’s “close ties” to President Erdogan.
Menendez highlighted events where he feels that Trump’s relationship with Erdogan greatly influenced his position.
Menendez asserts that Trump has put his own interests and the interests of President Erdogan ahead of US national security
He also criticized Trump’s “positions or silence” in regard to certain events.
Trump’s Actions Raise Suspicion
Menendez has requested the documents on the grounds that they are necessary in order to investigate Trump’s links with Erdogan.
Menendez is particularly interested in Trump’s refusal to back the Congress-mandated US sanctions on Turkey. He’s also looking at Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from the Northern Syrian borderlands. The borderlands, which incidentally, have now been taken over by Turkish-backed militia.
To further his point, Menendez is pointing to an interview between Trump and Bob Woodward of the Washington Post where Trump said:
“I get along very well with Erdoğan, even though you’re not supposed to because everyone says, ‘What a horrible guy.’ But, you know, for me it works out good.”
Former national security adviser John Bolton has described Trump’s relationship with Erdogan as a “bromance”.
Menendez’s request for the documents comes on the back of an investigative report carried out by the European watchdog Organized Crime & Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).
The report claims that the Turkish government has become one of the most important lobbyists in US politics. This, of course, made possible via Trump’s trusted confidant Brian Ballard.
Secret Meeting Revealed
One of the key details of the report is the disclosure of a meeting.
This meeting took place in 2017, one day before Trump’s inauguration, and had never been revealed to date.
In attendance was Trump’s confidant Ballard, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Floridan businessman Lev Parnas (known to have connections to Ukraine,) and Mübariz Mansimov. The latter is a Turkish-Azerbaijani shipping magnate currently facing terrorism charges in Turkey.
The report describes the meeting as the “most successful foreign lobbying effort” of the Trump presidency.
The claims in the report strongly echo the verdict of Carl Bernstein, the journalist who broke the Watergate story.
In June, Bernstein said that Erdogan enjoys greater access to Trump via telephone than any other foreign leader.
Awaiting A White House Response
These claims represent a very severe threat to Trump.
The President’s approval ratings have already been suffering over recent months. This is as a result of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests sweeping across America.
Menendez has asked to receive the documents no later than September 30th.
As yet, the White House has not commented on the request.