Dec 21, 2018

Trump signals Erdogan foe Gulen may have overstayed his welcome

Erdogan supporters hang an effigy of Gulen in the wake of the failed coup. Photo: Kursat Bayhan/Getty Images

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said this week that President Trump has told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan he'll "take a look at" potentially extraditing Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen — the man Erdogan claims organized a coup attempt against him in 2016. Gulen has lived in the U.S. for two decades.

Between the lines: Soner Cagaptay, a fellow at the Washington Institute and author of The New Sultan, says it's unlikely Trump would be able to extradite Gulen without a court decision. Instead, Cagaptay says Trump's rhetoric, combined with the FBI's investigation into Gulen's network, seem intended instead to send a signal that "Gulen has overstayed his welcome."

  • He thinks the idea is to nudge Gulen to a third country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with Turkey.
  • According to Cagaptay, Gulen gains a certain amount of legitimacy by being protected by the most powerful country on earth, and Turkey's most important ally. That equation changes if he ends up somewhere else.

Worth noting: Cagaptay says Gulen is more than just "Erdogan's enemy" — his network once had millions of followers. He says there is now a widespread consensus against Gulen in Turkey: "Half of the country that loves Erdogan thinks Gulen tried to kill him, and the other half of the country that hates Erdogan hates Gulen" for empowering him earlier in his political career.

Go deeper: Mueller probing Michael Flynn plot to kidnap Gulen

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Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,600,427 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 465,329 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. 2020 latest: Top conservative leaders are concerned the Trump administration isn't addressing the virus' long-term economic impact.
  6. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  7. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  8. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  9. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return this weekend in a remotely produced episode.
  10. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy