Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) seized on President Trump’s decision to double tariffs on Turkey to push for the president to recognize the mass killings of Armenians as a genocide.
Lieu, who is frequently critical of the president, tweeted Friday that he agreed with Trump’s increase of the tariffs and his declaration that U.S. relations with Turkey “are not good at this time!”
“Turkey has been trending towards authoritarianism & becoming more anti-American,” the Democrat wrote.
“Many of us have also pushed for recognition of the Armenian genocide. I urge @realDonaldTrump to do so,” Lieu continued. “The US should not continue to ignore historical facts.”
On this I agree with @realDonaldTrump. Turkey has been trending towards authoritarianism & becoming more anti-American.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 10, 2018
Whether the Armenians were the victims of a genocide has been a polarizing issue in Washington for years. Turkey’s government strongly opposes labeling events from 1915, in which more than a million Armenians were killed or exiled, as a genocide and has lobbied against the designation.
Trump declined to refer to the mass slaughter of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks as a genocide for the second time this year. Former President Obama and his predecessors also declined to refer to it as genocide as they came under heavy pressure from both sides of the debate.
Trump issued a statement in April in recognition of Armenian Remembrance Day, which marks the anniversary of Meds Yeghern, during which 1.5 million Armenians were deported, massacred or marched to their deaths by Ottoman soldiers in 1915. He did not use the term genocide in the statement.
More than 100 lawmakers, including Lieu, signed a letter ahead of Armenian Remembrance Day this year urging Trump to call the acts of Meds Yeghern a genocide.