In a news conference organized by Oz’s main opponent in the Pennsylvania Senate election, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo voiced his concerns about Mehmet Oz, the former President Trump’s supported candidate.
On the same day that Trump is due to campaign for Oz in Pennsylvania, Pompeo, who is backing Oz’s opponent, Dave McCormick, held a briefing. McCormick campaign first promoted the briefing.
On the contrary, the former secretary of state, who served under Trump, described McCormick as a “American patriot” compared to Turkey-linked Oz.
It’s a significant step forward for Pompeo, who has been rumored to be considering a run for the White House in 2024. In addition, Trump is largely predicted to run for re-election in 2020.
“Dave would be an exceptional senator for the United States,” Pompeo said at the briefing.
Because they didn’t vote, Pompeo claimed, “We criticize American candidates all the time. “It’s not like that at all. Instead of participating in the American political process, he chose to participate in the Turkish political one. That raises in my mind a lot of assumptions about his priority.”
Despite earlier claiming he had never been politically involved in Turkey “in any way,” ABC News revealed on Wednesday that Oz, who holds Turkish citizenship, had cast his ballot in the country’s 2018 election. However, he disputed to ABC that his vote constituted “political activity,” as his campaign spokesperson Brittany Yanick told them.
Oz has stated that he will relinquish his Turkish citizenship if elected, but he has stated that he will keep his Turkish citizenship in order to care for his “ailing mother.”
It was Pompeo’s intention to answer people’s worries about Oz’s Turkish ties at the briefing, given that he would have considerably less vetting if he were elected to Congress than civilians who ask for clearances.
“Perhaps it’s all innocent, perhaps it’s all straightforward, but we, the people of Pennsylvania, and the Americans he will represent as one of 100 senators voting on important national security issues need to understand the scope and depth of his relationship with the Turkish government,” said Pompeo.
Pompeo mentioned Oz’s Turkish property ownership and endorsement arrangement with Turkish airlines during the briefing.
In recent years, Turkey’s leadership has become increasingly authoritarian, and its relationship with the United States has deteriorated as it has been friendlier with Russia.
“This isn’t about whether it’s legal; it’s about who is most qualified to be the next United States senator from Pennsylvania, which has been represented for a very long time by a patriotic American conservative,” Pompeo stated.The Oz campaign responded by calling the remarks “pathetic and xenophobic.”
David McCormick’s accusations on Dr. Oz are “pathetic and xenophobic,” campaign communications director Brittany Yanick said in a statement. “He should be ashamed of himself.” With President Trump’s endorsement gone, he is resorting to desperate and sad accusations that are no different from those made against Catholics and Jews in years past.” Dr. Oz has already stated that he will renounce his citizenship if elected to the Senate. The fact that Dr. Oz has kept his dual citizenship to help care for his mother, who has Alzheimer’s and lives there, poses no security risk. David McCormick is aware of this.