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State Dept: Any Claim That US Involved in Russian Ambassador’s Killing ‘Flies in the Face of Facts’

State Department Spokesman John Kirby pushed back Monday on allegations from figures in Turkey that the United States was involved in the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey.

“Any suggestion that the United States in any way, shape, or form would be responsible for this act of murder and assassination or any other related activity to the coup … flies in the face of facts,” Kirby said in a press briefing.

Accusations of U.S. involvement could pop up due to the United States’ sheltering of Fetullah Gulen, a Turkish national who many in Turkey believe to be behind this summer’s coup attempt.

Kirby also declined to call the assassination an act of terrorism. When asked by a reporter if he considered it a “terror act,” Kirby said, “I think that’s for the investigators for determine.”

He added, however, “I certainly couldn’t rule out terrorism as a motive,” while reemphasizing that investigators should be the ones to make that determination.