In the latest batch of emails released by Wikileaks recently, a private, high level email exchange within the Hillary Clinton campaign hints that the Democratic presidential hopeful mulled using the term genocide ahead of the centennial of the massacres of Armenian people in 1915.
Dated April 19, 2015, the letter, apparently by top foreign policy advisor to Clinton's campaigh Jake Sullivan is addressed to a number of people involved one way or another in her presidential run, including Chairman of the her campaign John Podesta. Sullivan himself, by the way, calls the killings genocide.
The email reads:
Friday is the 100th Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. I presume the Armenian groups will be looking for a statement or a signal from the campaign on whether she will call it a "genocide" if she is elected president. As a Senator and candidate, she was unequivocal in recognizing the genocide. As Secretary of State, she did not use the term genocide but rather focused on future reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia.
The White House has studiously avoided using "genocide" so far. There is an internal debate now about whether to change that posture given that it is the 100th anniversary. But in all likelihood they won't change.
Do you all agree that she should embrace the position she took as Senator and candidate, even though she did not take it as SecState?
Do you all agree that we should just wait until we are asked as opposed to doing something proactive?
Sorry to bother with this, but as you all know this matters enormously to Armenian-Americans."
In response, Podesta writes "Quote the Pope," which could be a reference to a mass served by Francis on April 12, 2015, during which he recognized the Armenian Genocide by calling the killings genocide.
Clinton's public views on the Armenian Genocide have changed over the years.When she was running for president in 2008, her stance on the matter was clear: she issued a statement bragging that "alone among the presidential candidates, I have been a long-standing supporter of the Armenian Genocide Resolution. But, as secretary of state for the Obama administration, Clinton spoke differently and didn't use the word genocide.
(The article has been edited to show that the email was sent by Sullivan to Podesta, not vice versa.)