CNN – 25 March 2017, Saturday
By Leigh Munsil
The former CIA director said Flynn met with senior representatives of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government
He said they discussed sending Fethullah Gülen back to Turkey to face charges.
Former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey told CNN Friday that former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn met with representatives of the Turkish government in 2016 and discussed potential ways to send a foe of Turkey's president back to face charges in that country,
As a representative of Flynn Intel Group, Flynn met with senior representatives of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government in September 2016, Woolsey said. Woolsey was a Trump campaign adviser at the time and attended the meeting -- but said he arrived after it was already well underway.
Woolsey claims that those present discussed sending Fethullah Gülen, a Muslim leader who Erdoğan has accused of being behind a failed military coup to overthrow him, back to Turkey to face charges -- possibly outside the legal US extradition system.
"What I saw and heard was sort of the end of the conversation -- it's not entirely clear what transpired because of that," Woolsey said on "CNN Tonight" with Don Lemon. "But it looks as if there was at least some strong suggestion by one or more of the Americans present at the meeting that we would be able, the United States would be able, through them, to be able to get hold of Gülen, the rival for Turkey's political situation."
A spokesman for Flynn flatly denied Woolsey's characterization of the meeting.
"The claim made by Mr. Woolsey that General Flynn, or anyone else in attendance, discussed physical removal of Mr. Gülen from the United States during a meeting with Turkish officials in New York is false," Flynn spokesman Price Floyd said in a statement. "No such discussion occurred. Nor did Mr. Woolsey ever inform General Flynn that he had any concerns whatsoever regarding the meeting, either before he chose to attend, or afterwards."
The Wall Street Journal first reported Woolsey's claims Friday.
Flynn was advising the Trump campaign at the time. He became national security adviser after Donald Trump became President in January but resigned in mid-February, after he reportedly misled administration officials about his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Woolsey, who was CIA director under President Bill Clinton and who was on President Trump's team for about five months before quitting in January, said he didn't hear enough of what was said to make any definitive statements about what happened before he got there.
"The reason I'm being cautious about how this was worded is because I wasn't there for much of this meeting," said Woolsey, who nevertheless described the meeting as "suspicious" and "concerning."
"I felt I needed to say something to somebody, but was it a clear plot that they were going to seize him? No," he said.
Video haberler için YouTube kanalımıza abone olun