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BBC's Wildly Misleading Headline Smears Trump by Fabricating Genocide Comment He Never Made

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The establishment media has for years mischaracterized President Donald Trump’s remarks to make him look bad.

The most recent example comes from the BBC, which falsely claimed — or at the very least, strongly implied — in an article headline and accompanying social media post that Trump had denied the genocide of the Armenian people by the Ottoman Turks during World War I.

While there is a dispute over how many Armenian lives were lost, with estimates ranging from the hundreds of thousands to as many as 1.5 million, there is no dispute that Armenian Christians were systematically driven out of the Anatolia peninsula — with untold numbers of them of starved, tortured and killed along the way — in 1915 as the Islamic Ottoman Empire that later became the Republic of Turkey was in its last days.

The headline and tweet both stated as fact, “Trump says Armenia massacres were not genocide, directly contradicting Congress.”

The very first line of the article read, “The Trump administration has said it does not consider the mass killings of Armenians in 1915 to be a genocide, contradicting a unanimous vote by the US Senate.”

However, the Trump administration has said no such thing, and the BBC has been grossly dishonest to assert as much by fabricating a supposed quote that was never said.

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The issue of genocide has been in the news recently as both the House and Senate passed resolutions explicitly referring to the mass slaughter of Armenian Christians by Ottoman Turks as a “genocide,” a long-discussed symbolic move that sparked angry threats of reprisals from Turkey.

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In a statement issued Tuesday about the resolutions, State Department Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said, “The position of the administration has not changed.”

“Our views are reflected in the president’s definitive statement on this issue from last April.”

The BBC cited just a snippet of one line from that April 2018 statement in honor of Armenian Remembrance Day.

“In a statement last April on the anniversary of the killings, Mr Trump said the US paid tribute to the victims of ‘one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century’, but he did not use the word genocide,” the BBC’s article claimed.

For broader context — which the BBC conveniently left out — the opening line of that statement read in full: “Today we commemorate the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century, when one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. We recall the horrific events of 1915 and grieve for the lives lost and the many who suffered.”

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Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary at the time, was asked during a news briefing about the lack of the word “genocide” in the president’s statement. She replied, “I haven’t had a detailed conversation with him about that, but I understand that the resolution the President signed was consistent with past administrations as well.”

Indeed, the BBC even noted in the last line of the article, perhaps reluctantly, that former President Barack Obama had “promised as a presidential candidate to recognise the massacres of Armenians as genocide but after his election did not use the word.”

Not to excuse it — Trump should have forcefully denounced the genocide of Armenian Christians — but for what it’s worth, there is a specific reason and political consideration for why the U.S. government has long shied away from using that particular term.

For better or worse, Turkey is an allied member of NATO and plays host to strategically located U.S. military bases and installations in its country. As the BBC itself explained in the article, Turkey has taken great exception to being accused of perpetrating genocide and has threatened to close down those critical bases and radar sites in retaliation.

But none of those tricky foreign policy considerations matter to the establishment media when false quotes can be fabricated and a hated president smeared, which is exactly what happened in this case.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
Birthplace
Louisiana
Nationality
American
Education
The School of Life
Location
Little Rock, Arkansas
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics




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