Turkey had requested Gulen to be turned over at an October 17 meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Erdogan, as it has used the murder of Jamal Khashoggi to "ratchet up pressure" on the U.S.
The Trump administration is exploring possible ways to remove USA -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, a foe of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, to convince Turkey to ease pressure on Saudi Arabia over the killing of a Saudi journalist, NBC News reported on Thursday. "We want to see action on the end of the United States in terms of the extradition of Gulen".
A USA official reportedly says there has been pushback against the possibility.
"We definitely see no connection between the two", a Turkish official told NBC News. President Trump needs to stomp on these idiots, hard.
"We did talk about Fethullah Gulen", Pompeo said.
They said the effort includes directives to the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that officials reopen Turkey's case for his extradition, as well as a request to the Homeland Security Department for information about his legal status. However, a Turkish official says the government does not link its concerns about the Khashoggi murder with Gulen's extradition case.
The kingdom eventually branded the murder a "rogue" operation and has requested the death penalty against five people accused of involvement, but the country's public prosecutor absolved the country's powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, of having played a role.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said US authorities continued to evaluate material Turkey has provided on Gulen but that it remained a Justice Department matter and the White House had not been involved in any extradition discussions.
Most important: The United States of America bows to no one, certainly not to a thug like Erdogan, who is killing freedom in the nation he controls.
FETO, led by Gulen, orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and almost 2,200 injured.
NBC said career officials at the agencies had pushed back at the White House requests.