05:41 GMT +322 January 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Trump administration is looking for ways to remove exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen from the United States in order to appease Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, MSNBC reported on Thursday.

    The White House asked federal law enforcement agencies to look at legal ways of removing Gulen from the United States in order to persuade Erdogan to ease pressure on the Saudi government over the death of columnist Jamal Khashoggi, two senior officials and two others briefed on the requests told MSNBC.

    The report indicates directives were issued to both the Justice Department and FBI to reopen Turkey's case for Gulen's extradition, as well as a request for information from the Department of Homeland Security about Gulen's legal status.

    READ MORE: Turkey Demands Extradition of Over 450 Gulen-Linked Suspects — Minister

    Turkey's Accusations Against Gulen

    Gulen has lived in a compound in a rural area of the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999.

    READ MORE: Washington, Ankara Lift Sanctions on Top Officials After Release of US Pastor

    Erdogan has accused Gulen and his followers of orchestrating a failed coup in July 2016, which left 251 people dead and 2,200 injured. Since then, approximately 80,000 people have been arrested in Turkey over their alleged links to the cleric.

    READ MORE: Turkish Court Rules US Pastor Had Links With Gulen Terrorist Movement — Reports


    extradition, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Donald Trump, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Fethullah Gulen, United States
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