President Tayyip Erdogan blamed the US ambassador to Turkey for a diplomatic crisis between the two countries and said Ankara no longer considered him Washington's envoy.
In a blunt and personal attack on outgoing Ambassador John Bass, Erdogan suggested Bass acted unilaterally in suspending visa services in Turkey after the arrest of a US consulate worker, and said "agents" had infiltrated US missions.
The US State Department defended Bass, saying he had the "full backing" of the US government and his actions were coordinated with the State Department, White House and National Security Council. "Our ambassadors tend not to do things unilaterally," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing.
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