U.S. President Donald Trump confirms no F-35 selling to Turkey
July 18, 2019
President Trump has confirmed that Turkey will not be able to buy U.S. F-35 fighter jets as turkey begins receiving Russian S-400 missile defense systems this week, the U.S. website reported Wednesday.
“We have told Turkey that because you have actually purchased the Russian missile system, we will not sell you F-35 fighter jets,” Mr. Trump said at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Turkey is in a very serious situation, and we in the United States are facing the same grim situation.
It was President Trump’s clearest statement on the issue since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced last week that he would begin taking over the Russian-made S-400 missile system.The Trump administration is still considering whether to take other punitive measures against Turkey, including tough economic sanctions.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather O’Tagues told reporters Tuesday that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is studying all options, including sanctions through a sanctions bill. But Mr. Trump said there might still be a way to avoid the situation: “We’re trying to fix this, and we’ll see results in the future.”
Mr. Trump again accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of being responsible for Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missiles, and said mr. Obama did not sell Patriot anti-aircraft missiles to Turkey, but only American fighter jets. The report corrects Trump’s claim that the U.S. has in fact sought to sell Patriot anti-aircraft missiles to Turkey since at least 2013, but Erdogan insisted that the U.S. transfer Patriot missile technology to Turkey so that Turkey can develop and build its own advanced missiles. The Obama administration rejected the specific request.Erdogan later said Turkey’s defense needs made him decide to buy Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missiles.