Trump Explored Cutting Grants for Schools Tied to Erdogan Foe

Source:Bloomberg Date:29Oct2019

Early in his presidency, Donald Trump’s White House explored whether the U.S. could cut off taxpayer funding for a network of charter schools affiliated with a political opponent of Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to two people familiar with the matter.


The debate over funding for the schools unfolded over a few weeks ahead of Erdogan’s visit to the U.S. in May 2017, and one of the people who took an interest in the matter was former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, according to the people. He would later become Trump’s personal attorney and drive events in Ukraine that have the president on the brink of impeachment.

Administration lawyers ultimately concluded they couldn’t justify cutting off money for the schools, which are associated with a movement headed by Erdogan opponent Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who lives in exile in Pennsylvania.