White House Told Lindsey Graham to Block Genocide Vote

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A meeting between Presidents Erdogan and Trump at the White House attended by senators on Nov. 13 was reportedly tense (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A meeting between Presidents Erdogan and Trump at the White House attended by senators on Nov. 13 was reportedly tense (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who famously blocked the Senate passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution told the Axios news site that the White House forced him to go to the Senate floor, after meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, and block the vote.

On November 13, immediately after Erdogan and President Donald Trump held a press conference at the White House, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez called for a unanimous consent vote for S.Res. 105—the Armenian Genocide resolution. Graham took to the Senate floor and cited his meeting with Erdogan on that day as the reason to not pass the Senate resolution saying that in view of the current crisis in Syria, as well as discussions with Turkey on its purchase of Russian weapons, the Senate should not move forward with the affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.

Axios reported that during the Oval Office meeting with Erdogan Graham had scolded the Turkish leader over his invasion of Syria and attacks on the Kurds, according to sources in the room.

Reportedly, Erdogan pulled out his iPad and showed the Oval Office group a propaganda video depicting the leader of the primarily Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces as a terrorist. Graham then chided him, saying, “Well, do you want me to go get the Kurds to make one about what you’ve done?” he said.

Graham confirmed to Axios that as he was leaving the Oval Office, a senior White House staff member asked him to return the Senate and block the Armenian genocide.

“After the meeting, we kind of huddled up and talked about what happened,” Graham told Axios adding that he was asked to “object” to the resolution by a White House legislative affairs official

“I said sure,” Graham told Axios. “The only reason I did it is because he [Erdogan] was still in town. … That would’ve been poor timing. I’m trying to salvage the relationship if possible.”

Axios asked Graham whether he felt uncomfortable blocking the Armenian genocide resolution, and he replied: “Yeah. Because I like Bob [Menendez]. He’s been working on this for years, but I did think with the president of Turkey in town that was probably more than the market would bear.”

“I’m not going to object next time,” Graham added.

The “next time” happened on Thursday when Menendez and Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz introduced the resolution again, only to be blocked by Georgia Republican Senator David Purdue, who was reportedly asked by the White House to oppose the measure.

On the Senate floor on Thursday, Perdue cited Erdogan’s meeting with Trump and the meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish leaders in Belgium last week as the reason for his objection.

“Senator Perdue objected due to concerns that passage of the resolution would jeopardize the sensitive negotiations going on in the region with Turkey and other allies,” said a Perdue spokesperson told Axios.

“No surprise. In the current Washington, DC environment – particularly in the wake of the near unanimous (405-11) U.S. House adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution – no Senator is inclined – of their own accord – to stick their neck out – assuming major moral, media, and even electoral liabilities – in defense of Recep Erdogan’s lies,” said Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Suren Hamparian. The ANCA has issued a nationwide call alert to share disappointment with Sen. Perdue’s opposition and encourage him to allow a vote on the Senate floor. Perdue may be reached at (202) 224-3521.

Menendez has vowed to continue pursuing the passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution.

“I think Armenian-Americans, the world, and history should record who stands on the side of recognizing genocide for what it is — and who does not,” Menendez said in a statement.

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7 Comments

  1. HERAYER said:

    AGAIN EVIL DOMINATES LINDSEY GRAHAM PLAYING POLITICS WITH THE TRUTH OF THE CRIME OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE WAS AFRAID TO OFFEND THE TURKISH PRESIDENT,!! AND LIKE AN OBEDIENT LAP DOG SERVANT DID WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE TOLD HIM TO DO. WHERE IS HIS CHRISTIAN CONCIENCE SHAME ON HIM.I AM A US ARMY VETERAN I SERVED IN VIETNAM THIS COUNTRY STANDS FOR JUSTICE AND TRUTH, WE WILL REMEMBER AND HONOR THE INNOCENT SLAUGHTERED ARMENIAN BABIES,CHILDREN MEN AND WOMEN SHAME SHAME ON THE WHITE HOUSE AND THEIR QUIZLINGS.

  2. Alek Frendian said:

    All those who brown nose Turkey’s blood suckers, starting with our so called president down to some of these fossils, are gutless imbeciles who deserve God’s punishment. These guys have no honor and all they look at is what will be the kind payback from Turkey to them.

  3. GB said:

    “I’m not going to object next time,” Graham added. What an idiot politician like his dumb president! He actually accepting the truth of the Armenian Genocide but rejecting due to nomad Rajab Turkoghloo’s pledge!

  4. john abajian said:

    The president is NO friend to Armenians — wake up conservative voting block — he could care less – as far as he’s concerned it is (to use his words) a “sh..hole” country. Get a grip.

  5. HAGOP said:

    YES, IT IS BAD THAT WHITE HOUSE SAID BLOCK IT, BUT TRUMP FOCUSED ON USA AND USA SECURITY!!!!!! ARMENIANS MAKING BAD COMMENTS LIVE IN USA!!!!!! TRUMP PROTECTING YOUR SECURITY!! IF YOU DONT LIKE IT, GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY!!!!!!

    IF YOU LIVE IN USA, YOUR ALLEGANCE IS USA FIRST!

    USA!
    USA!
    #MAGA

    • Raffi said:

      @Hagop: You mean all Democrats who are against Trump’s policies are traitors, you seem to be out of your mind, there are millions of Americans who are against what the president is doing, what should they do, GO TO WHERE…..? Remember he won the election on razor thin margin, means almost half of the Americans who voted did not vote for him, Here the 64 thousand Dollar question is: is the President doing it for the safety of the country or is he in race with other Billionaires and is trying to make few billions before he leaves office, he may be a Billionaire but in the club of the Billionaires he should be at the bottom of the list.

    • HERAYER said:

      HAGOP I AM SURE YOU ARE NOT ARMENIAN YOU ARE PROTECTING EVIL PLAIN AND SIMPLE WHAT IS WRONG FOR STANDING FOR THE TRUTH AND JUSTICE THAT IS WHAT THIS GREAT COUNTRY OF AMERICA STANDS FOR ARMENIAN AMERICANS LOVE AMERICA WHICH GAVE THEM FREEDOM,JUCTICE AND REFUGE FROM GENOCIDE MANY ARMENIAN AMERICANS SERVED IN THE US ARMED FORCES IN WORLD TWO THAT IS MEN AND WOMEN, AND ALSO STILL SERVING NOW, GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE US CONGRESS FOR STANDING FOR THE TRUTH

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