A band of GOP senators rebuffed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s effort to depict anti-Islamic State Kurd forces as terrorists in a contentious Oval Office meeting, as the White House allies took a far harder line against Erdogan than did President Donald Trump.
Participants said Erdogan played a propaganda video for Republican senators attending Wednesday’s meeting, drawing a rebuke from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and others.
Graham said Thursday that he asked Erdogan, “do you want me to get the Kurds to play a video about what your forces have done?”
The lawmakers also told Erdogan that he is risking economic sanctions by going ahead with a new Russian anti-aircraft missile system.
The exchange behind the scenes was far more confrontational than the reception Trump gave Erdogan in public.