Saudi lobbyists 'bought 500 nights at Trump's hotel after 2016 polls'

Blanche Robertson
December 8, 2018

Some of the veterans the newspaper spoke with also said they were not aware they were lobbying on behalf of the Saudi government.

A new report from the Washington Post reveals that lobbyists funded by the government of Saudi Arabia spent over $270,000 reserving "blocks of rooms" at President Donald Trump's Washington D.C. hotel a month after the 2016 election.

As reported in The Washington Post, a veterans advocacy group, D.C. lobbyist agency, and the Saudi Arabian government are all connected to the latest veteran scandal. In June it was discovered that Saudi Arabia paid $270,000 to house lobby groups in Donald Trump's luxury hotel following his 2016 U.S. presidential election victory.

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The law the Saudis opposed - the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act - allows victims of 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia. Once in D.C., the veterans were pushed to lobby against the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which lets the families of September 11 victims file suit against the Saudi government.

Some of the veterans who stayed at Trump's hotel say they were kept in the dark about the Saudis' role. This would lead to lawsuits against USA soldiers for their actions.

The lobbyists at first were hosting veterans in northern Virginia, but switched to the Trump hotel in December 2016. The veterans involved in the lobbying campaigns were instructed to speak with lawmakers specifically about JASTA. He went on three trips, and said that what made the Trump hotel trips different from trips with other veterans groups were the private rooms, open bars and free dinners. It wasn't until after he arrived in Washington that he figured out the Saudis were paying the bill, he said.

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