Congressman Tim Ryan Demands Release of Erdogan Call Transcript in Light of Trump’s Self-Admitted Conflict of Interest in Turkey
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today requested that the six House Committee Chairs investigating Trump urge the Administration to release the transcript of the call between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In a letter sent to the six Committee Chairs, Congressman Ryan further called for an investigation into the President’s potential conflict of interest in Turkey after Trump personally acknowledged it in a December 2015 Breitbart interview. Then-Candidate Trump said “I have a little conflict of interest ’cause I have a major, major building in Istanbul. It’s a tremendously successful job. It’s called Trump Towers.” This call for transparency comes amid the President’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northeast Syria this week immediately after his call on Sunday with the Turkish President.
“In light of Donald Trump’s self-admitted conflict of interest in Turkey, the White House should immediately release the transcript of the phone call between Trump and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Not only has Trump betrayed our Kurdish allies, but he’s endangering thousands of innocent lives and risking a resurgence of ISIS. Congress needs to get to the bottom of why Trump made this decision considering his business connections in Istanbul and self-admitted conflict of interest. It’s deeply concerning when we can’t decipher whether the President of the United States is working in the interest of the American people or himself,” said Congressman Ryan.
The full letter can be found below or viewed here:
October 10, 2019
Dear Chairman Schiff, Chairman Engel, Chairman Cummings, Chairwoman Waters, Chairman Neal, and Chairman Nadler:
Thank you all for your continued dedication to the oversight of the Trump Administration. In light of recent events in Syria, I write today to urge you to investigate President Trump’s potential conflict of interest in Turkey and whether that conflict influenced President Trump’s decision to allow Turkey to wage war against our Kurdish allies in Syria. As part of this investigation, I also urge you to request the Trump Administration release the transcript of the call between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Immediately after Sunday’s call between President Trump and President Erdogan, President Trump announced he was withdrawing U.S. troops from Northeast Syria, and that Turkey would soon be moving forward with a military operation in that region. This is a dramatic shift in U.S. foreign policy for this region and an utter betrayal of our Kurdish allies.
This decision comes after President Trump personally acknowledged that he has a conflict of interest with Turkey, referring to a business investment in Istanbul. On December 2015, then-candidate Trump stated in a Breitbart interview, “I have a little conflict of interest ’cause I have a major, major building in Istanbul. It’s a tremendously successful job. It’s called Trump Towers.” 1
What did President Erdogan say to President Trump that spurred this sudden change? Our foreign policy should not be conducted on a whim by an unstable and reckless Commander in Chief who is putting his business interests and the desires of authoritarian foreign leaders above U.S. national security.
President Trump’s actions are unacceptable, and I believe it is vital that you all investigate, in your respective Committees, the conflict of interest in Turkey that President Trump previously disclosed and to demand the White House release the complete transcript of their call.
Thank you for your continued work on these important matters.
Member of Congress