U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass released a statement on July 18 on the embassy's official website condemning the attempted coup in Turkey on July 15 and reiterating the United States' support for the democratically elected government in Ankara. Bass went on to dismiss as false rumors circulating in Turkey that the United States played a role in the coup attempt. Specifically, the ambassador condemned words that had been falsely attributed to him over social media by people he said seemed to be supporters of Fethullah Gulen, the powerful Turkish religious and opposition leader and rival of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who resides in Pennsylvania. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry previously said the United States would consider a request for Gulen's extradition if evidence suggests he was behind the July 15 coup attempt. Bass reiterated this point but underscored that there are specific requirements that must be met before any extradition can take place. Gulen has substantial support among Turkey's bureaucracy and military, and many of the coup leaders reportedly have ties to the Gulenist movement.