Former President Trump’s one-time secretary of State has attacked the former president’s preferred candidate for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania on the grounds that Dr. Mehmet Oz is a dual citizen of both the U.S. and Turkey.
Mike Pompeo does not argue that Oz, a naturalized citizen, is not legally qualified to be a senator; he says that Oz has serious conflicts of interest because of his dual citizenship. News reports indicate that Oz voted in Turkey’s presidential election as recently as 2018.
Oz holds a narrow lead over businessman David McCormick in the results from last week's primary. A recount is expected.
That an loyal cabinet officer for Trump should split from his ex-boss is both remarkable and was under-reported. It may well relate to the fact that Pompeo’s time at West Point overlapped that of McCormick for three years: Pompeo graduated in 1986 and McCormick the following year.
There are currently five U.S. senators who were born overseas, all to one or two citizen parents. They are:
- Michael Bennet (D-Colo.): India
- Ted Cruz (R-Texas): Canada
- Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.): Thailand
- Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): Japan
- Chris Van Hollen (Pakistan): (D-Md.)
Of the five, all but Hirono were citizens from birth. She was born in Japan in 1947 and the American law on this point has changed since then. She, alone of the five, went through naturalization. Cruz was a dual citizen for many years, renouncing his Canadian citizenship in 2014, after being elected to the Senate in 2012. Cruz in the only Republican on this list.