Erdogan Entertained Trump And GOP Sens. By Playing Anti-Kurds Propaganda Video During Oval Meeting
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan played a “propaganda” video during a meeting at the White House with President Trump, several Republican senators said on Thursday, according to Axios.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) told Axios Erdogan showed a video on an iPad during the meeting focused on “terrorist attacks” from a Kurdish group that is designated as a terrorist organization.
“Well always you wanna watch, and of course the information was presented, it is very heartbreaking but bottom line you have no idea who produced the film, where it’s from, what group of people it is,” Ernst said.
“So while I appreciate President Erdoğan showing us the information, we don’t know the origins, we don’t know—and it was very much a propaganda video,” Ernst added.
Asked if Erdogan showed them a “propaganda” video, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), confirmed that he did.
“He showed a video about the history of PKK terrorist attacks … and what I told him is I’m not here to retry the past. I acknowledge that you have a legitimate national security concern. … Do you want me to get the Kurds to play a video about what your forces have done? So I was very firm,” Graham added Axios reported.
Graham and Ernst were part of a group of Republican senators who attended the meeting with Erdoğan and Trump on Wednesday. In addition, Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-Idaho) attended the meeting.
The meeting follows heightened tensions between Capitol Hill and Turkey, in the wake of Trump’s decision to pull back U.S. troops and Turkey’s subsequent military invasion against Kurdish-led YPG forces, which Turkey claims is a terrorist group. The U.S. does not consider the YPG a terrorist organization, however, and has worked closely with their forces in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).