President Donald Trump held an undisclosed meeting Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Erdogan during this week’s NATO summit. While Turkey is a member nation of NATO, President Erdogan is widely seen as a dictator for whom President Trump holds a special fondness.
— Turkish Presidency (@trpresidency) December 4, 2019
The meeting had not appeared on President Trump’s official schedule, nor did the White House announce it later, until the Turkish government posted a photo of the two leaders in a tweet.
Reuters reporting that Trump and Erdogan have held an unscheduled meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit here in Watford, England… wasn't on the President's schedule (in fact, he was supposed to be meeting Angela Merkel right about now)…
— Mark MacKinnon (@markmackinnon) December 4, 2019
After the photo was released the White House put out a statement saying Trump met with Erdogan to remind him of “the importance of Turkey fulfilling its alliance commitments.”
Trump met with Erdogan at the White House last month.
The Hill reports White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, while confirming the meeting, “did not describe the meeting either as a full bilateral meeting or a pull-aside at the summit, nor did he confirm reports that the meeting lasted a half hour.”
“Pull-asides,” when two or more leaders casually chat on the sidelines, are not uncommon during summits like NATO. This meeting did not appear to be one.
This is far from the first time a foreign power has been the first to reveal Trump met with their top leaders. For example, in May of 2017 President Trump secretly met with the then the Ambassador of Russia to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in the Oval Office. Kislyak is seen by U.S. Intelligence as a top spy and spy recruiter.
During that now infamous meeting Trump disclosed classified information, leading to an international scandal. The White House had barred all U.S. reporters from the meeting but a photographer for Tass, the official Russian news agency, was present. Tass later published the photos.
That secret meeting came just one day after fired FBI Director James Comey.
On Monday U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) lambasted Trump for appeasing Erdogan:
Secretary Pompeo concedes that U.S. law requires that we sanction Turkey for its purchase of the Russian-made S-400. The time for patience has long expired. Now Erdogan is threatening to block NATO’s defense plan for the Baltics and Poland. Trump needs to stop appeasing Erdogan. pic.twitter.com/eT3qUfIf1V
— Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) December 2, 2019
Senate Dems blast ‘corrupt’ nomination of Amy Coney Barrett: ‘This entire process is illegitimate’
President Donald Trump on Saturday nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Supreme Court -- and Democrats were livid.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) linked the nomination to the Affordable Care Act and the COVID-19 pandemic.
"A vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a vote to eliminate health care for millions in the middle of a pandemic," Schumer wrote. "Democrats are fighting for Americans' health care."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, ripped the nomination for coming so close to the election.
Senate Republicans attempt to brand Amy Coney Barrett as the ‘Notorious ACB’
The campaign arm for Senate Republicans is raising money by attempting to brand conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett as the "Notorious A.C.B."
The scheme is an attempt appropriate Ruth Bader Ginsburg's famous nickname -- The Notorious R.B.G. -- for a jurist nothing like the late Supreme Court justice.
T-shirts with "Notorious A.C.B." are being given out for donations between $25 and $5,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
The website where the T-shirts are sold says the money will go to the "Supreme Court Defense Fund."
"Democrats will do ANYTHING to stop President Trump and Senate Republicans from filling the Supreme Court vacancy," the website argues. "Protecting our Majority has never been more important. HELP!"
Joe Biden responds to Trump picking Amy Coney Barrett for the US Supreme Court
Democratic 2020 nominee Joe Biden released a statement shortly after President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the United States Supreme Court.
"Election Day is just weeks away, and millions of Americans are already voting because the stakes in this election could not be higher. They feel the urgency of this choice – an urgency made all the more acute by what’s at stake at the U.S. Supreme Court," Biden wrote.
"They are voting because their health care hangs in the balance. They are voting because they worry about losing their right to vote or being expelled from the only country they have ever known. They are voting right now because they fear losing their collective bargaining rights. They are voting to demand that equal justice be guaranteed for all. They are voting because they don’t want Roe v. Wade, which has been the law of the land for nearly half a century, to be overturned," he explained.