The Associated Press ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey has dismissed as “utterly false, ludicrous and groundless” a report that Turkish officials may have discussed paying millions of dollars to have a U.S.-based Muslim cleric kidnapped.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating an alleged plot involving former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his son to hand Fethullah Gulen over to Ankara for as much as $15 million.
Turkey blames the cleric and his supporters for a July 2016 military coup attempt that killed 250 people. Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, has denied being behind it.
The Turkish Embassy in Washington reiterated demands late Saturday for the United States to extradite Gulen so he can stand trial. The embassy in a statement rejected “all allegations that Turkey would resort to means external to the rule of law” to get Gulen back on Turkish soil.
Flynn’s lawyers also have disputed the Journal report that Mueller was looking into a meeting where Flynn allegedly discussed a plan that would pay him and his son “to forcibly remove” Gulen.
Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, did lobbying work for Turkey last year.
“Out of respect for the process of the various investigations regarding the 2016 campaign, we have intentionally avoided responding to every rumor or allegation,” the lawyers said in a statement.
“But today’s news cycle has brought allegations about General Flynn, ranging from kidnapping to bribery, that are so outrageous and prejudicial that we are making an exception to our usual rule: they are false,” they said.Speech