Pro-Turkey lobbyist sought secret favors from Hillary Clinton: The Daily Caller
22:18, 17 May 2016
Newly released emails show that a former Democratic National Committee
official and lobbyist for the Turkish government directly contacted
two of Hillary Clinton’s top aides to ask for a favor ahead of the
then-secretary of state’s March 2009 visit to Turkey, The Daily Caller
The correspondence raises numerous questions because the lobbyist,
David Mercer, was paid $25,000 a month by the Turkish government to
convince lawmakers and government officials to oppose a bill
designating the Ottoman Empire’s murder of an estimated 1.5 million
Armenian Christians from 1915 to 1917 a genocide.
Clinton once touted her support for the resolution but flip-flopped
dramatically after she joined the Obama administration.
According to the source, the messages were sent and received at a
crucial inflection point for Clinton on the Armenian genocide issue.
As a New York senator, Clinton supported several resolutions calling
for the recognition of the mass murders as genocide. And as a
Democratic presidential candidate in 2008 she issued a statement
promising to recognize the genocide if elected president. She said
then that “alone among the presidential candidates, I have been a
long-standing supporter of the Armenian Genocide Resolution.”
The pledge earned Clinton the praise of the Armenian National
Committee of America (ANCA), the largest Armenian political
organization in the U.S.
But Clinton completely reversed course on the issue and refused to use
the “g-word” to describe the century-old atrocity after she entered
the Obama administration.
During a State Department town hall in Jan. 2012 she said that the
issue of whether the mass murder was genocide was still up for debate.
“I think it’s fair to say that this has always been viewed, and I
think properly so, as a matter of historical debate and conclusions
rather than political,” she said at the time.
Clinton was called out for the comments in a House Appropriations
Subcommittee hearing the next month by California Rep. Adam Schiff,
who is currently a member of the House Select Benghazi Committee and
one of Clinton’s most ardent supporters.
“Some actions that were taken by you and the administration with
regard to the Armenian genocide are of great concern,” he said during
“I can’t begin to express in mere words how much anguish has been
caused in the Armenian-American community and among many activists
about recent statements at a State Department town hall that you
made,” he added.
Clinton flailed as she attempted to defend downplaying her statement
that the Armenian genocide was still up for debate.
Aram Suren Hamparian, who once praised Clinton as ANCA’s executive
director, had harsh words for both Mercer and Clinton.
“Mr. Mercer profited personally by aiding and abetting Turkey’s
shameful cover up of its genocide of millions of Armenians, Greeks,
Assyrians and other Christians. Mr. Mercer’s complicity in Ankara’s
genocide denial represents an unconscionable corruption of U.S.
democracy by high-priced lobbyists, a morally unacceptable compromise
of American values by a foreign power,” Hamparian told The Daily
It is likely that Clinton and company were aware of Mercer’s role as
an opponent of the Armenian resolution. Records show that he sent
letters to Lee Feinstein, the national security director of Clinton’s
campaign, at around the time she publicly supported the genocide
“Hillary Clinton needs to answer for her morally indefensible actions
as Secretary of State enforcing Turkey’s gag-rule against American
condemnation and commemoration of the Armenian Genocide,” Hamparian
Clinton has not weighed in on the genocide issue during the 2016
cycle. Her campaign did not respond to TheDC’s request for comment.