US President Donald Trump called President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “great” during a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month.
“He’s a great guy,” Trump told the German chancellor, according to sources familiar with the exchange.
Merkel pointed out that Erdoğan referred to Germany and other European countries as descendants of Nazis, and sources said that Trump was surprised.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment. The German government declined comment, citing the confidential nature of the call.
President Trump and his counterpart Erdoğan will meet at the White House on Tuesday for a bilateral Oval Office meeting followed by a press conference.
A meeting with Turkish-American business and religious leaders at the Turkish ambassador’s residence in northwest Washington, D.C. is also scheduled.