Rep. Jackie Speier said the push for President Donald Trump to condemn the Armenian genocide has a “secret weapon” — his fellow television reality star Kim Kardashian.
“I think within our diaspora we have a secret weapon to get him to recognize the Armenian genocide,” Speier said Tuesday. “I think we all need to tweet to Kim Kardashian and ask her,” prompting some laughter from the crowd.
“Seriously!” she continued. “And ask her to join us in getting the president to take that action.”
The California Democrat made the remark during a speech marking the anniversary of the massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire that began 104 years ago.
Armenian American Congresswoman @RepSpeier - deploying the Diaspora’s “Secret Weapon” - calls on Armenian Americans to tweet to @KimKardashian to press President Trump to properly condemn and commemorate the #Armenian #Genocide. pic.twitter.com/jDRBUrhw6R— ANCA (@ANCA_DC) April 10, 2019
Most U.S. presidents have stopped short of acknowledging the systematic killing of Armenians as genocide for fear of straining relations with Turkey.
Kardashian visited the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex in Yerevan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of start of the genocide in 2015, and has been vocal about the atrocity in years since.
Kardashian successfully lobbied Trump to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a nonviolent drug offender serving a life sentence, with a visit to the White House last year.
Speier has Armenian heritage and serves as co-chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus. She also sits on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
The congresswoman made the speech at an observance of the Armenian genocide on Capitol Hill organized by the Armenian National Committee of America and the Armenian Assembly of America.
The groups are pressing for a resolution that would officially recognize the Armenian genocide and reject its denial.
ANCA is closely associated with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, an Armenian political party, according to a 2009 legal filing by the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a lobbying and campaign finance watchdog group.
Leaders of the ARF organized an uprising to oppose the genocide by Ottoman forces in 1915, historians say.
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