US General Accused of Plotting Failed Turkish Coup Speaks Out
The retired U.S. Army general and former NATO commander accused of masterminding the recent failed coup in Turkey has an alibi — he was having a beer with Fox News Channel’s Geraldo Rivera.
Yeni Safak, a Turkish tabloid known as friendly to the increasingly Turkish President Erdoğan in Ankara, hit newsstands Monday with a front-page blaring in Turkish “This man led the coup,” alongside a picture of U.S. Army Gen. J.F. Campbell.
It was news to Campbell, who retired in May after a distinguished, 37-year career that saw him most recently serve in both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Campbell served as commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force from August 2014 to earlier this year.
“I haven’t traveled outside the U.S. since I came back from Afghanistan in March,” Campbell told FoxNews.com. “I have no idea why they picked me for this headline.
“In fact, on the day of the coup I think I was in New York City with Geraldo having a beer,” he added.
The newsman corroborated the general’s claim.
“I absolutely vouch for General Campbell,” Rivera said. “The only thing we were overthrowing were a series of Stella Artois [beers].”
“This is absolutely nuts,” said Fox News contributor and former Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters. “Erdoğan’s cynical, though, and often plays the nationalist card. There’s no easier target than the Americans.”
The State Department referred requests for comment to Campbell, who said no one from the U.S. government has contacted him about the matter.