Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday voiced national security concerns about Donald Trump-backed candidate and TV celebrity Mehmet Oz, who is serving in the US Senate after confirming Oz’s campaign on Wednesday that he was the last Turkish president. Voted in the election.
Heart surgeon, widely known as the host of the day “Dr. Oz shows, “was born in Ohio to Turkish immigrant parents and is a dual citizen of the US and Turkey. He claimed in February that he was never politically involved in Turkey “in any capacity” And he has said that he will give up his Turkish citizenship if he wins the post.
However, Oz’s campaign spokeswoman Brittany Yannick confirmed to ABC News on Wednesday that Oz did indeed vote in Turkey’s 2018 election. She denied that it constituted “political involvement” and said she had voted for the opposition candidate who lost to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Pompeo, who has endorsed Oz’s GOP primary rival Dave McCormick, said Friday on a conference call that McCormick hosted with reporters: “We criticize American candidates all the time because they didn’t vote. This is different from that. … He remained engaged in the political process of Turkey. This brings to my mind a lot of judgments about their priority. ,
“People of Pennsylvania and the Americans” [Oz] will represent [in the] The Senate, voting on important national security matters, needs to understand the scope and depth of its relationship with the Turkish government,” Pompeo said on the call.
For one citizen, voting in another country’s election would set off a “huge, flashing red light” for security concerns, Kel McClanahan, executive director of the nonprofit public interest law firm National Security Counselors, told ABC.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Oz, a longtime New Jersey resident, used his in-law’s address in Pennsylvania to register to vote in the state in 2020, but Oz’s campaign representative insisted he move to Pennsylvania Had gone. Politico reports that Oz voted in New Jersey as recently as 2020.
Oz said he retained Turkish citizenship to care for his ailing mother. According to ABC, he served in the Turkish military for 60 days in the 1980s, owns assets in Turkey and won a lucrative endorsement contract with Turkish Airlines, which has close ties with Erdogan. Turkey’s authoritarian leaders are more closely aligned with Russia and Russian interests.
“Any one of them would be enough for a torpedo” [security] evacuation,” McClanahan said.
Oz’s campaign called McCormick’s attacks on Oz “pathetic and xenophobic”, but did not mention Pompeo.
If Oz wins a Senate seat and renounces his dual citizenship, he will be following in the footsteps of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who was a dual US-American until formally renouncing his Canadian citizenship in 2014. were Canadian citizens.
Trump is attending a Pennsylvania rally for Oz on Friday. The first of the state is May 17.