Lindsey Graham says he blocked a Senate resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide because the White House didn't want to anger Turkey
By: Jonathan Swan, Axios
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan answers questions during a joint news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 13, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Many were perplexed and outraged when, right after clashing with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a heated Oval Office meeting on Nov. 13, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham hurried back to the Senate floor and did something that likely delighted Erdoğan. Graham blocked a resolution that would have formally recognized Turkey's genocide of the Armenian people.
Behind the scenes: Graham had just scolded Erdoğan over his invasion of Syria and attacks on the Kurds, according to sources in the room.
- As we reported at the time , 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.
- The South Carolina Republican then chided him over the clip. "Well, do you want me to go get the Kurds to make one about what you've done?" he said.
What happened next, which has not been previously reported: As Graham was leaving the Oval Office, senior White House staff asked him to return to the Senate and block the Armenian genocide resolution — a measure that would have infuriated Erdoğan.