Woolsey: Flynn discussed sending Erdogan foe back to Turkey

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from CNN,

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 his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, Flynn met with senior representatives of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’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 Gulen, a Muslim leader who Erdogan 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 Gulen, 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. Gulen 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 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.”

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