VIDEO: White House "not aware" if President Trump knows about LGBTQ attacks in Chechnya

NEW YORK – More than two weeks after GLAAD called on President Trump to condemn the horrific attacks on LGBTQ men in Chechnya, the White House could not confirm if the president had been briefed on the attacks and the reported concentration camps created by the Chechen government.

The White House’s statement is the latest in what is a clear negligence to a humanitarian crisis happening in Russia-controlled Chechnya where more than 100 LGBTQ men are said to have been detained because of their perceived sexual orientation, with four men allegedly being killed. GLAAD asked President Trump to use the power of the presidency and denounce this anti-LGBTQ violence happening in Chechnya. 

“It is shocking that the White House can’t even confirm if President Trump is ‘aware’ of the anti-LGBTQ violence in Chechnya. It seems President Trump is only aware of news that includes his own name,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “If President Trump doesn’t join Ambassador Haley and other world leaders in condemning this humanitarian crisis, it is only further evidence that his Administration is working to force LGBTQ people around the globe back into the closet.”

Watch the full video response by clicking here.

Chris Johnson (The Washington Blade): "The statement today on the President's meeting with foreign minister Lavrov did not include anything on the reported incidents of violence in Chechnya against people in the LGBTQ community. Is the reason why that was not included in the readout because the President is not informed on the issue?

Sarah Huckabee Sanders: "I'm sorry, could you speak up a little bit."

Johnson: "Is the reason why it wasn't included in the readout is because President is not informed about reports of anti-gay violence in Chechnya?"

Sanders: "Ah--uh, look, I mean a lot of times there are parts of the conversation that aren't specifically included in a readout. Umm, but, I'm not aware, I have not had that conversation. So I do not know, I was not part of that meeting. So I cannot speak to every detail and I would have to refer you to the readout on the specifics of what I know was discussed."

Johnson: "Has the President been briefed on this issue, generally? Has the President been briefed on this issue, generally?"

Sanders: "That is something I would have to get back to you on. I am not one hundred present sure."

Politicians and human rights activists across the globe, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, have all condemned the horrific violence in Chechnya. Yet still, President Trump remains silent.

Since the news broke about the anti-LGBTQ attacks and reported concentration camps, GLAAD has led the charge in calling on the Trump Administration to recognize this humanitarian crisis. Last month, GLAAD called on Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, to recognize the attacks and use the United States’ presence in the United Nations to condemn the attacks. After a week-long online campaign where thousands of LGBTQ supporters joined GLAAD’s voice, Nikki Haley denounced the violence in Chechnya.