UPDATED 12/17/19 2:16 p.m. ET: The White House said it does not consider the 1915 mass killings of Armenians as genocide, BBC reports

"The position of the administration has not changed," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement on Tuesday. "Our views are reflected in the president's definitive statement on this issue from last April."

See original story below. 


Thursday, the Senate passed a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide in Turkey.

The move, which formally acknowledges the genocide despite objections and blocking efforts from Trump's team, marks an end to what Democratic Senator Bob Menendez said from the floor on Thursday was a national "non-response" to the "horrors" in the region.

"We have just passed the Armenian genocide resolution ... and it is fitting and appropriate that the Senate stands on the right side of history in doing so," Menendez said, per The Hill. "It commemorates the truth of the Armenian genocide."

The resolution previously passed the House with a 405-11 vote.

In November, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham confirmed to Axios that he had previously been instructed by the White House to block the resolution.

"I said sure," Graham said at the time. "The only reason I did it is because he [Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] was still in town. ... That would've been poor timing. I'm trying to salvage the relationship if possible."

The resolution that passed Thursday is identical to the measure that passed in the House. In a statement, Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian said Thursday's move "shines a spotlight" on Trump as he "continues—against all reason—to enforce Erdoğan's veto against honest American remembrance of Turkey's extermination and exile of millions of Christians."