Axios reported Sunday that following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visit to the White House and his heated exchange with Senator Lindsey Graham, Graham ran back to the Senate, under the direction of the White House, to block the resolution that would have “formally recognized Turkey’s genocide of the Armenian people.”
“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.
- Graham confirmed this in a phone interview on Saturday.
- “After the meeting, we kind of huddled up and talked about what happened,” he said. A White House legislative affairs official told Graham that Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) was going to bring up his Armenian genocide resolution and asked if Graham could “please object.”
- “I said sure,” Graham said. “The only reason I did it is because he [Erdoğan] was still in town. … That would’ve been poor timing. I’m trying to salvage the relationship if possible.”