Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said President Trump called him to apologize after members of his security detail were indicted for attacking protesters during his visit to Washington, D.C., in May.
"Actually President Trump called me about a week ago about this issue," Erdogan said, through a translator, during an interview with "PBS Newshour" that aired Tuesday. "He said that he was sorry and he told me that he was going to follow up on this issue when we come to the United States within the framework of an official visit."
Nineteen people, including 15 members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail, were indicted in August for attacking peaceful protesters outside the D.C. embassy.
Erdogan is in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly meeting. Last week, a bipartisan pair of senior House lawmakers wanted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to warn Erdogan against violence while in U.S. They also wanted the State Department to bar anyone involved in the May assault from entering the country. Erdogan said he would protest the charges while meeting with Trump at the U.N.
The charges, dealt by a grand jury, detail the assault in which the defendants attacked the peaceful demonstrators outside of the Turkish embassy. All 19 are charged with conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, a felony punishable by a statutory maximum of 15 years in prison, according to the Associated Press. Several face additional charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
On Monday, the Trump administration blocked the sale of weapons to the country.
At the time of the attack, Erdogan's team was in the process of buying approximately 1,600 semi-automatic sidearms from a New Hampshire-based gun company, a deal the State Department provisionally approved in May. Days later, Erdogan's security team assaulted protesters outside the Turkish embassy following Erdogan's meeting with Trump. The administration has since blocked the deal.