Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), a hawkish congressman from the San Fernando Valley, is facing criticism for a tweet he published during the height of the coup attempt against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday.
Military takeover in Turkey will hopefully lead to real democracy – not Erdogan Authoritarianism
— Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) July 15, 2016
Sherman, who is a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton’s bid for president, later explained to the Los Angeles Times: “It’s hard to be as nuanced as you want to be about foreign policy in 140 characters.” He said he was not in favor of the coup, but did not support Erdogan, either, who has moved Turkey further toward Islam and has exerted increasingly autocratic powers.
In a party that has increasingly lost credibility on national security measures, Sherman is one of the last remaining Democrats who believes in resisting the march of radical Islam through an assertive foreign policy. Last year, he slammed the Iran deal, saying that it would mean “terrorism with impunity.”
In an interview at the time with Breitbart News, Sherman said: “My goal is to make sure all Americans know this is not morally or legally binding on the U.S. and the world, because I see how ugly this deal is in the next decade.”
Turkey’s ambassador to the U.S., Serdar Kilic, responded to Sherman’s tweet angrily:
Shame on you. You should be ashamed of yourself for supporting a coup attempt and expecting democracy out of it pic.twitter.com/bBpy6qz3Mx
— Serdar Kilic (@serdarkilic9) July 16, 2016
Sherman fired back:
. @serdarkilic9 Shame on those who use this coup to white wash Erdogan
— Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) July 16, 2016
Asked by the Times why his position seemed to differ with that of President Barack Obama, who immediately condemned the coup attempt, Sherman said:
The president plays a different role. We have military bases in Turkey, he wants to get along with whatever government is in power and has never really criticized the Turks for the role they played in [supporting the Islamic State] when they were in their heyday … What a president says matters; members of the House can say something just because it’s true.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, will be published by Regnery on July 25 and is available for pre-order through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.