BY SASHA INGBER
President Trump shot down reports on Saturday that his administration was considering extraditing a Pennsylvania-based foe of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in order to diffuse tensions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Erdogan says Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who has been living in Pennsylvania since the late 1990s, was involved in a failed coup in 2016. The government has requested the U.S. send him back to Turkey.
This week, NBC News, citing four unnamed sources, reported that the White House was considering whether to expel Gulen. The report stated that the White House was looking to “placate Turkey” and to “persuade Erdogan to ease pressure on the Saudi government” after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.