South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham ripped into Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a tense Oval Office meeting Wednesday over the country’s invasion of Syria and attacks on America’s Kurdish allies, according to aides and the senator himself.
While in Washington, Erdogan met with President Trump and several Republican senators at the White House. Fox News is told there were “a lot of people with a lot of gripes” during the meeting. At one point, according to aides, Graham “called Erdogan out on his B.S. that Turkey has been fighting ISIS.” While all the senators expressed their issues with Erdogan, Graham was said to be “on the more aggressive side.”
According to sources, Graham told Erdogan, “You have done something no one thought was possible. You have united the US … against [Turkey].”
Having senators in an Oval Office meeting between the president and a foreign leader is highly unusual.
Congressional aides said that the White House wanted Erdogan to hear directly from the senators about their concerns. It was described as a “good cop, bad cop” scenario, where Trump played the part of the “neutral” cop, while senators got into it with Erdogan. One aide said that “Graham was the worst cop of all.”