Jan 06 2018

“Fire and Fury” reveals Trump confusion inside Turkish government

A fast-selling biography of Donald Trump released yesterday includes a telling anecdote about the Turkish government’s confusion about Trump’s priorities.

“Many of America’s usual partners, and even many antagonists, were unsettled if not horrified” by the confusion after Trump was elected, Michael Wolff wrote in his new book Fire and Fury.

While much of the Turkish pro-government press had cheered Trump on as a figure antithetical to the U.S. establishment they believed was prejudiced against them, the Turkish government was among those trying desperately to get a grip on Trump’s worldview and interests in order to best steer their foreign policy towards America.

“Early in the transition, a high-ranking official in the Turkish government reached out in genuine confusion to a prominent U.S. business figure to inquire whether Turkey would have better leverage by putting pressure on the U.S. military presence in Turkey or by offering the new president an enviable hotel site on the Bosphorus,” Wolff wrote.

The book also said that those around Trump’s national security advisor Michael Flynn had warned him about taking big projects from Turkey.

“Various friends and advisers … advised Flynn that he ought not to accept fees from Russia or the larger ‘consulting’ assignments from Turkey,” Wolff wrote.

The book makes no mention of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but namechecks Russian President Vladimir Putin 26 times.