McCain: Boot diplo for D.C. attack on protesters
TURKEY’S AMBASSADOR to the U.S. ought to be kicked “the hell out” after Turkish security officials engaged in a bloody clash with protesters outside his Washington, D.C., residence, Sen. John McCain said Thursday.
“We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America,” the Arizona Republican told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” hours before video emerged of Turkey’s president watching the violence.
“This is the United States of America. This isn’t Turkey, this isn’t a Third World country, and this kind of thing cannot go unresponded to diplomatically,” McCain said.
The senator said he was “outraged” after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bodyguards appeared to assault protesters Tuesday. The brawl, which broke out during a protest amid Erdogan’s visit with President Trump, sent nine people to the hospital.
The Turkish Embassy alleged the protesters had been “aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the president.”
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Wednesday the U.S. was “communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms.”
Video emerged Thursday that shows Erdogan watching the melee from the back seat of a car parked in front of Ambassador Serdar Kilic’s residence.
He exits the black Mercedes and stands next to the open door, peering through a group of trees as the chaos unfolds. Several members of what appears to be his security team then rejoin him as he enters the home.
Asked by “Morning Joe” cohost Joe Scarborough what the White House and Senate should do to condemn the attack by “thugs linked directly to Erdogan,” McCain reiterated his initial point that he’d “throw the ambassador out.”
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) on Wednesday echoed McCain’s call for charges to be brought, writing in a letter to Secretary of State Tillerson and Attorney General Jeff Sessions that “agents of foreign governments should never be immune from prosecution for felonious behavior.”
“To send a clear message that these acts of violence will not be tolerated, I ask that you immediately look into this matter and bring all appropriate criminal charges before these individuals leave the United States,” wrote Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Democratic Sen. Zoe Lofgren of California also called for the Erdogan supporters and bodyguards to be “arrested immediately and prosecuted.”
Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Tom Cotton (Ark.) and Ted Cruz (Tex.) have demanded an apology from Turkey.
Sen. John McCain (r.) is outraged after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s goons bloodied protesters, including man above, while Erdogan (top) looked on at Turkish embassy.