President Trump has a history of siding with those who perpetrate violence, rather than those who are victims of it. After all, when white supremacists attacked counterprotesters (even killing one) at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, it took him a month to openly condemn white supremacy.
It seems Trump took a similar approach after 19 people — 15 of whom were members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail — were indicted for attacking peaceful protesters outside of the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C. He even went so far as to apologize to Erdogan for the incident.
Erdogan revealed this detail during an interview with PBS Newshour that aired on Tuesday.
‘Actually, President Trump called me about a week ago about this issue. He said that he was sorry and he told me that he was going to follow up on this issue when we come to the United States within the framework of an official visit.’
Erdogan, who has called the charges against members of his security detail “a scandalous sign of how justice works in America,” is currently in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly meeting. He said after the indictment was announced that he would protest the charges when he meets with Trump at the U.N.
The 19 individuals who attacked protesters outside of the embassy have all been charged with conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, a felony that is punishable by a statutory maximum of 15 years in prison. Several of them also face charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
There have been conflicting accounts of exactly what happened outside of the embassy, but the indictment accuses the Turkish security officials of using “threats and physical violence — intensely kicking at protesters — to dispel the anti-Erdogan protesters” and ignoring “American law enforcement commands to cease the violence.”
Watch a clip from Erdogan’s interview in the video below, which PBS shared on Twitter.
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) September 19, 2017
A number of people have commented on the above video and made it clear that they’re not pleased about Trump apologizing to Erdogan.
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.