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Trump Explored Cutting Grants for Schools Tied to Erdogan Foe

  • One of Trump’s earliest attempts to appeal to Turkish leader
  • Giuliani sought Gulen extradition, was on call about schools
Donald Trump greets Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington, D.C. on May 16, 2017.

Donald Trump greets Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington, D.C. on May 16, 2017.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

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 2017 episode, never previously reported, came as the newly inaugurated U.S. president prepared to meet for the first time with Erdogan, an ostensible U.S. ally who has since complicated American Mideast policy by aligning his country with Russia and, this month, launching a military operation in northern Syria.