WASHINGTON – White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on July 6 used the term Armenian Genocide in passing while discussing the desecration of memorials by protestors in the US. She related President Donald Trump’s position on “extreme indoctrination and bias” in the educational system and referred to the Denver Armenian khachkar monument dedicated to the victims of the Armenian and other genocides which had been defaced in late May during the course of the Black Lives Matter protests. She stated, “There seems to be a lack of understanding and historical knowledge when the Armenian Genocide Memorial, remembering victims of all crimes against humanity including slavery, is vandalized.”
Despite the increase in US-Turkish tension in recent years, President Trump and the State Department have studiously avoided using the term Armenian Genocide up until the present, which makes the motivation behind this statement curious.
John Haltiwanger, a senior political reporter for Business Insider, sought reactions from both State Department and the White House, and the Embassy of Turkey to Washington, D.C. Haltiwanger tweeted that State Department referred him to the White House, which in turn did not respond to his inquiry, while the Embassy of Turkey in Washington, D.C. called MacEnany’s statement “an unfortunate slip of the tongue” and concluded “In any case, these expressions cannot be accepted.”
I've reached out to the White House twice in the past 24 hours re: McEnany's reference of the Armenian genocide. Still no response. https://t.co/v4fMVkEctL
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) July 7, 2020