Trump pays tribute to dead, short of saying ‘genocide’
President Trump paid tribute Monday to more than one million Armenians killed during the Ottoman Empire, but followed his predecessors in stopping short of labeling the century-old killings a “genocide.”
Mr. Trump called the deaths “one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century,” with about 1.5 million Armenians “deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths” beginning in 1915.
President Obama had pledged during his campaign in 2008 to become the first U.S. president to recognize the episode as a genocide. But Mr. Obama failed to do so annually as president, deciding against provoking Turkey, a key NATO ally that has rejected such a characterization of the killings.
Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton also avoided the term “genocide” after pledging during their campaigns to recognize it as such. Mr. Trump didn’t make such a campaign pledge.