The comments were made by O'Brien during a tele-town hall that was hosted by Carla Sands, one of Oz's adversaries during his Pennsylvania Republican Senate Primary.
O'Brien, who was in the Trump administration from 2019 to 2021, has criticized Oz in his campaign for Turkish citizenship, his service with Turkey's military, as well as an endorsement agreement in the form of a deal with Turkish Airlines, which have been increasingly the focus of Oz's Senate campaign.
“One thing I'd like to clarify and I'm sure that you've clarified this as you can, Carla this isn't about Mehmet's family heritage or his Muslim religion, or the fact his family is originated from Turkey. We're all from somewhere I suppose, with the exception of Elizabeth Warren. We're all from another place and Mehmet's a great man. We've never experienced such a scenario at all, not even in the modern times, as I can tell in which we have an international citizen.”
“It will be problematic, I think, if Mehmet was elected to be on the Intel Committee or the Senate Armed Services Committee, and to have the type of security clearance that you had as the ambassador,” O'Brien explained.
O'Brien said in the past that the issue has nothing to do with his religion or his heritage but rather the fact that Oz is an American citizen from Turkey and a country that is run by a hostile president.
However, I'm guessing the candidate will drop the Turkish citizenship if elected, and will cease to vote in elections if elected a U.S. senator. Also, I'm sure that you're aware of the fact that everyone has moments in our lives which we would like to change. If Mehmet was given the chance to choose, he wouldn't have performed Turkish army service, or voted at the recent Turkish presidential election, or served as a representative of Turkish Airlines in the event that he had known that he was running in an election to the U.S. Senate one day and, you know, I'm guessing he's probably embarrassed by some of these items. Also it's not about his heritage or religious beliefs, but rather, it's about the problem of being a citizen of a different country.
“Mehmet Oz doesn't share our values. Not only is he not from Pennsylvania, and we all know it, but he's never been America First. He's been Turkey first. He served in the Turkish military.”
A group of activists has recently urged officials from the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an investigation of Oz over the alleged failure to sign up as an agent for foreigners in connection with his work for the Turkish national airline.
Oz was criticized for his Turkish citizenship after he announced he would not use certain security clearances if elected to keep his status in Turkey. After facing criticism for his comments, Oz later pledged to take away the Turkish citizen status if wins the November election.
Trump staged an event on the streets of Pennsylvania on Friday, in support of Oz; however, the event did not go well for the famed doctor. The crowd, though not packed, booed at any reference to Oz from other speakers as well as Oz himself when he took the stage.