Arizona Sen. John McCain says that the Turkish ambassador should be expelled from the U.S. after members of the Turkish presidential security detail beat up protesters outside of the Turkish embassy earlier this week.
“We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America. This is the United States of America, this isn’t Turkey, this isn’t a third-world country. This kind of thing cannot go un-responded to diplomatically,” McCain said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
On Tuesday, body guards working for Turkey’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, clashed with Kurdish and Armenian protesters outside of the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C.
Erdogan had just met at the White House with President Trump. Video of the melee showed suited men believed to be working for Erdogan attacking protesters in the street outside of the residence. Some of the men kicked victims while they were on the ground. At least nine people were injured, and several went to the hospital. (RELATED: State Dept. Is Working To ID Erdogan’s Bodyguards)
The State Department, Secret Service and Washington, D.C. police are trying to identify the assailants. But D.C.’s police chief said on Wednesday that some may be protected by diplomatic immunity.
The Turkish embassy responded on Wednesday with a statement saying that Erdogan’s bodyguards acted in “self-defense” against the protesters, who were accused of being terrorism sympathizers.
“These are thugs linked directly to Erdogan,” Joe Scarborough told McCain during Thursday’s interview.
“These are not just average people that did this beating. This is Erdogan’s security detail. Somebody told them to go out there and beat up on these peaceful demonstrators, and I think it should have repercussions including identifying these people and bringing charges against them,” McCain replied.