Trump adviser accuses Turkey of undermining 2016 Trump election campaign

George Papadopoulos, a campaign adviser to Donald Trump, last week accused Turkey of trying to undermine the U.S. president and interfere in the 2016 election.

Papadopoulos tweeted that a CIA spy using the alias Azra Turk worked for both U.S. intelligence and the Turkish government.

 

The New York Times on Thursday described how the FBI had sent Turk undercover to London to meet Papadopoulos and try to understand if the 2016 Trump election campaign had ties with the Russian government.

Papadopoulos responded to the article with a tweet saying that Turk was clearly not working for the FBI, but for the CIA and was also affiliated with Turkish intelligence.

"She could hardly speak English and was tasked to meet me about my work in the energy sector offshore Israel/Cyprus which Turkey was competing with,” he said.

The New York Times described Turk as an FBI agent who was sent to London “to help oversee the politically sensitive operation, working alongside a long-time informant, the Cambridge professor Stefan A. Halper”, but did not mention any possible ties with the Turkish government as Papadopoulos alleges.

Papadopoulos, in an April 11 tweet, accused Turkey of trying to undermine the Trump campaign. "There was a Turkish spy involved in the operation against me by Stefan Halper. It’s time to find out how Turkey was involved in trying to undermine Trump and interfere in the 2016 election.”

Until the accusation, Turkey’s involvement with the 2016 Trump campaign has been mostly linked to Ekim Alptekin, a former business partner of Michael Flynn. Flynn, who went onto briefly become Trump's national security adviser, is being charged with conspiring to help the extradition of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen from the United States.

According to an indictment revealed by U.S. prosecutors, Bijan Kian, Flynn's former partner, conspired with Alptekin to illegally lobby U.S. government officials and influence public opinion in the United States against Gülen. Ankara accuses Gülen of orchestrating the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey in which more than 250 people died.

Federal investigators have sought more information on Alptekin and Inovo BV, a Dutch consulting firm that funded Flynn for a project included in the investigation. U.S. prosecutors have also been investigating an unfinished documentary project to boost Turkey’s image and discredit Gülen.