Representative Jackie Speier said that the push for President Donald Trump to condemn the Armenian genocide has "a secret weapon" – his reality TV colleague Kim Kardashian.
"I think we have a secret weapon in our diaspora to convince him to recognize the Armenian genocide," Speier said Tuesday. "I think we all need to send a tweet to Kim Kardashian and ask him," causing some laughter in the crowd.
"Seriously!" She continued. "And ask her to join us in convincing the president to take that action."
The Californian democrat made this observation during a speech marking the anniversary of the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire which started 104 years ago.
Armenian American congressman @RepSpeier – deploying "the secret weapon" of the diaspora – invites American Armenians to tweet at @Kim Kardashian press President Trump to condemn and properly commemorate the #Armenian #Genocide. pic.twitter.com/jDRBUrhw6R
– ANCA (@ANCA_DC) 10 April 2019
Most US presidents have stopped recognizing 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 the beginning of the genocide in 2015, and has been a voice on atrocities for years.
Kardashian put pressure on Trump to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a non-violent criminal who served a life sentence, with a visit to the White House last year.
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
Speier has an Armenian heritage and serves as co-president of the Armenian Congress Caucus. He is also a member of the Committee for Armed Services of the Chamber and of the Permanent Standing Committee of the Intelligence Chamber.
The deputy gave the speech on the occasion of the observance of the Armenian genocide on Capitol Hill, hosted by the Armenian National Committee of America.
The group is pressing for a resolution that would officially recognize the Armenian genocide and reject the denial.
ANCA is closely associated with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, an Armenian political party, according to a 2009 legal file from the Center for Accountability and Ethics in Washington, a finance and election campaign monitoring group.
The leaders of the ARF organized a revolt to oppose the genocide of the Ottoman forces in 1915, historians say.
Watch: Jackie Speier hears the newly discovered Jonestown tape for the first time
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