cloudyn.png
Thursday July 7th, 2022 4:07AM

Oz's ties to Turkey attacked in Pennsylvania's Senate race

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Mehmet Oz’s rivals in Pennsylvania’s competitive Republican primary for U.S. Senate are escalating their attacks on the celebrity heart surgeon’s connections to his parents’ native country of Turkey, raising it as a possible national security issue.

Oz, best known as TV's Dr. Oz, has rejected any suggestions he is a threat to national security and accused an opponent, ex-hedge fund CEO David McCormick, of making “bigoted attacks.” If elected, Oz would be the nation's first Muslim senator, although Oz has not campaigned on that milestone.

The criticism of Oz and his ties to Turkey has mushroomed in the weeks after Oz won the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, who remains popular with conservative voters. With the state's May 17 primary in sight, Trump held a rally with Oz in western Pennsylvania on Friday evening, coming off a big win in Ohio's Republican Senate primary for Trump's candidate, JD Vance.

Oz, who was born in the United States, holds Turkish citizenship, served in Turkey’s military and voted in its 2018 election, but says he would renounce his dual citizenship in Turkey if he is elected.

Trump’s former secretary of state and CIA director, Mike Pompeo, who endorsed McCormick in the race, told reporters Friday that Oz owes an explanation about the “scope and the depth of his relationship with the Turkish government.”

Americans should know if Oz is “fit for duty," Pompeo said.

As CIA director, Pompeo served side-by-side in the Trump administration with Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser who drew Justice Department scrutiny because of lucrative consulting work he and his firm did that benefited the Turkish government.

Oz has financial ties to Turkey, as well.

In his financial disclosure report to the Senate, Oz disclosed property that he owns in Turkey, assets from his late father's estate that are tied up in legal proceedings there and an endorsement agreement with Turkish Airlines, which is partly owned by the Turkish government.

In recent debates, McCormick — a decorated U.S. Army combat veteran of the Gulf War — has accused Oz of unnecessarily holding dual citizenship in Turkey and tried to contrast Oz's service in the Turkish military with McCormick's in the U.S. Army.

Another rival, Carla Sands, Trump’s former ambassador to Denmark who inherited a commercial real estate fortune, has suggested Oz has dual loyalties, calling him “Turkey First,” as a play on Trump’s “America First” governing philosophy.

Fending off McCormick's attacks in March, Oz suggested that his religion is being targeted, accusing McCormick of making “bigoted attacks” that are “reminiscent of slurs made in the past about Catholics and Jews.”

Oz has maintained that he served in Turkey's military as a young man to keep his dual citizenship. He keeps it to this day, he said, so he has legal power in Turkey to make health care decisions for his mother, who has Alzheimer's disease.

Oz voted in Turkey's 2018 election when he was at the consulate in New York for meetings about his humanitarian work on behalf of Syrian refugees in Turkey, his campaign said.

He voted against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his campaign said, noting that it is not unusual for Americans with dual citizenship to vote in elections in other countries.

“Voting in an election is far different from being actively engaged in the political work of the Turkish government, which Dr. Oz has never been involved with," Oz's campaign said.

Senate historians have been unable to find a U.S. senator who maintained dual citizenship.

Trump, in an hourlong speech at Friday night’s rally, attacked McCormick for the first time by name, saying he'd been with a company that “managed money for communist China.”

McCormick is, Trump said, the “candidate of special interests and globalists and the Washington establishment” spending millions of dollars to defeat Oz and “ripping off the United States with bad trade deals and open borders.”

Trump did not specifically mention attacks on Oz's ties to Turkey, but boosted Oz to the crowd as a "warrior" and a longtime friend who has the best chance of winning the battleground state seat in the fall general election.

David Laufman, the former chief of the counterintelligence section at the Department of Justice’s national security division, said he thinks of a national security concern as individuals and organizations that present terrorist threats, cybersecurity threats or economic security threats, or are involved in influence operations directed at the U.S. on behalf of foreign powers.

“I think we need to be careful about categorizing any American as a national security risk simply because of their ties to a foreign country,” Laufman said in an interview.

Edward Ahmed Mitchell, deputy director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the nonprofit does not comment on specific campaigns.

But in general, he said, the organization has seen attacks on one aspect of a candidate — such as their place of birth — as a stand-in for a more obviously racist attack, such as on their race or religion.

Flynn — Trump’s former national security adviser — was ousted in the first month of the Trump administration after the White House said he lied about his Russian contacts during the transition period.

He later admitted in a criminal case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller that his filings to the Justice Department when he registered as a foreign agent for his Turkish work included “false statements and omissions.”

___

Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.

___

Follow AP for full coverage of the midterms at apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter at twitter.com/ap_politics

___

Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at twitter.com/timelywriter

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, General Senate Election News, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Business, AP Elections - Political Conventions, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
50 more civilians rescued from besieged Mariupol steel plant
Russian and Ukrainian government officials say 50 more civilians have been rescued from the tunnels under a besieged steel plant in Mariupol where Ukrainian fighters have been making their last stand to prevent Moscow’s complete takeover of the port city
4:26PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Sheriff: Car linked to Alabama escapee, jail worker found
Authorities in Tennessee say they have located an abandoned vehicle used by a man wanted in Alabama for murder and the jail official who disappeared with him
4:25PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Oz's ties to Turkey attacked in Pennsylvania's Senate race
Mehmet Oz’s rivals in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate are escalating their attacks on the celebrity heart surgeon’s connections to his parents’ native country of Turkey, raising it as a possible national security issue
4:21PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
'Zero-COVID' lockdowns cancel AP exams for students in China
Thousands of high school students in China are missing Advanced Placement exams that many prepared for to improve their chances of attending college in the West
3:45PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Fire-ravaged New Mexico villages cling to faith, ‘querencia’
As the largest wildfire burning in the U.S. marches across northern New Mexico, residents have been guided by their faith and their connection to each other and the land
3:35PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Brazil's Amazon deforestation hits record for month of April
Deforestation detected in the Brazilian Amazon reached a record high for the month of April
3:31PM ( 59 minutes ago )
AP National News
Biden plugs manufacturing initiative at Ohio metal company
President Joe Biden is in Ohio to announce that five major U.S. manufacturers have made commitments to boost their reliance on small and medium American firms for 3D printing
3:31PM ( 59 minutes ago )
Abortion adds to Biden's all-but-impossible to-do list
President Joe Biden is under pressure to preserve access to abortion, but he has few good options to do it
3:10PM ( 1 hour ago )
'Outsider' looks to prevail in OR Democratic gov primary
 Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read hopes to capitalize on voter unrest and a seeming tack back to moderates when Democrats choose their candidate May 17 for the state’s highest office
3:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
France's left agrees to largely campaign together vs. Macron
Long-divided left-wing parties in France will march into forthcoming legislative elections largely together, after the Socialist Party voted to join a nascent coalition behind hard-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon
5:56AM ( 10 hours ago )
Biden to plug manufacturing initiative at Ohio metal company
President Joe Biden is set to announce that five major U.S. manufacturers have made commitments to boost their reliance on small and medium American firms for 3D printing
5:44AM ( 10 hours ago )
Police boss journal cites early angst in Ronald Greene death
The Louisiana State Police superintendent wrote himself an ominous note days after the deadly 2019 arrest of Black motorist Ronald Greene: “Realize there is a problem — must address immediately.”
5:25AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
UK Conservatives lose London strongholds, in blow to Johnson
Britain’s governing Conservatives have suffered local election losses in their few London strongholds
8:02AM ( 8 hours ago )
Pence: Leaked abortion draft opinion helps some '22 hopefuls
Former Vice President Mike Pence says a leaked draft opinion suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark case that legalized abortion nationwide could have favorable impacts for anti-abortion candidates in midterm elections across the country
12:06AM ( 16 hours ago )
Biden taps 1st Black woman, LGBT White House press secretary
President Joe Biden has named Karine Jean-Pierre to be the next White House press secretary
8:53PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Elections
Brown wins Ohio rematch with progressive activist Turner
President Joe Biden has congratulated Democratic U.S. Rep. Shontel Brown of Ohio for her primary victory over former state Sen. Nina Turner
11:56AM ( 2 days ago )
Election 2022: JD Vance wins Ohio's GOP Senate primary
Primary elections in Ohio have set the stage for a more competitive phase of the midterm primary season, with closely watched races in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia scheduled for later this month
11:43AM ( 2 days ago )
Primary takeaways: Trump passes test as kingmaker in Ohio
The primary election in Ohio stood as the first real test this midterm election season of former President Donald Trump's status as the Republican Party kingmaker — and he passed
12:12AM ( 2 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Election 2022: Trump's endorsement power put to test in Ohio
Democrat Nan Whaley, the former mayor of Dayton, will take on incumbent Republican Gov. Mike DeWine in the general election after both secured their parties' nominations Tuesday evening
9:02PM ( 2 days ago )
Live updates | Whaley wins Democratic nod for Ohio governor
Nan Whaley has won the Democratic nomination for Ohio governor
8:51PM ( 2 days ago )
Live updates | DeWine wins GOP primary for Ohio governor
Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has won his party’s nomination for governor
8:21PM ( 2 days ago )
General Senate Election News
Live updates | UN Security Council adopts Ukraine statement
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted its first statement since Russia’s military action in Ukraine began, expressing “strong support” for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ efforts to find a peaceful solution to the “dispute.”
3:44PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Man charged in Dave Chappelle attack pleads not guilty
The man charged in an attack on comedian Dave Chappelle during a performance at the Hollywood Bowl has pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanors
3:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
Live updates | 50 people evacuated from Mariupol steel mill
Fifty civilians were evacuated Friday from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine
3:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Entertainment
No felony charge for man who tackled Dave Chappelle on stage
Los Angeles County prosecutors say the man arrested on suspicion of tackling comedian Dave Chappelle during a performance at the Hollywood Bowl will not be charged with any felonies
4:16PM ( 1 day ago )
Heard: Depp team of enablers shielded his drug, alcohol use
Amber Heard is telling a Virginia jury that Johnny Depp surrounded himself with an entourage of enablers to shield him from the consequences of his drug and alcohol use
2:03PM ( 1 day ago )
Maroon 5, Usher to headline concert to honor Rep. John Lewis
Maroon 5 and Usher will headline a benefit concert in Atlanta to honor the legacy of the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis
8:02AM ( 1 day ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Mercury set to open season with Griner detained in Russia
Missing star center Brittney Griner, the Phoenix Mercury open the season at home against the Las Vegas Aces
3:42PM ( 49 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: More pressure on the Fed from April jobs report
The April jobs report provided mixed signals on the economic issue most on the minds of Americans: Chronically high inflation
3:35PM ( 56 minutes ago )
Formula One star Lewis Hamilton blasts piercings crackdown
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is balking at new rules in motorsports against body piercings and jewelry
3:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Election 2022: Ohio Gov. DeWine wins GOP nod for second term
Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan has cruised his way to his party’s nomination for an open Senate seat and will now take on the winner of one of the most contentious and closely watched Republican primaries in the nation
8:30PM ( 2 days ago )
Herschel Walker, other candidates test skipping debates
Football great Herschel Walker has gone to great lengths to dodge tough questions during his run for the U.S. Senate in Georgia
5:58PM ( 3 days ago )
2022 midterms: What to know about Ohio, Indiana primaries
The first multistate contest of the 2022 midterm election season takes place Tuesday
2:16PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
Stacy Abrams raises $11.7 million in Georgia governor's race
Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams says donors gave  $11.7 million to her campaign for governor in the three months ended April 30
9:35PM ( 1 day ago )
House leaders stick with Rep. Cuellar despite abortion stand
Just a day after Democrats recommitted to protecting abortion rights, a U.S. House leader on Wednesday campaigned in Texas alongside Rep. Henry Cuellar, one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Congress
7:49PM ( 1 day ago )
Sinn Fein eyes historic win in Northern Ireland election
The Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein may be headed for a historic victory in Northern Ireland, which has been led by British unionist parties since it was founded as a state a century ago
1:54PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Sheriff: Car linked to Alabama escapee, jail worker found
Authorities in Tennessee say they have located an abandoned vehicle used by a man wanted in Alabama for murder and the jail official who disappeared with him
4:08PM ( 23 minutes ago )
In abortion fight, conservatives push to end all exceptions
Rape, incest and the health of the fetus or mother were once accepted reasons to obtain an abortion in even the most conservative Republican-led states
4:03PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Jill Biden brings thanks, ketchup to US troops in Romania
Jill Biden has thanked U.S. troops deployed to Romania, where they are serving as a check against Russian aggression
3:54PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Census ready to study combining race, ethnicity questions
U.S. Bureau officials say they are ready to start examining changes that would combine race and ethnic questions and add a Middle Eastern and North African category on the 2030 census questionnaire
3:53PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Pelosi sets $45,000 minimum yearly salary for House aides
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is addressing concerns about the working conditions for some Capitol Hill aides
3:51PM ( 40 minutes ago )