Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Saudi Lobbyists Paid For 500-Night Stay At Trump D.C. Hotel

Saudi Lobbyists Paid For 500-Night Stay At Trump D.C. Hotel

At $768 per night, the 500 rooms totaled more than $270,000, according to the Post.

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

In the three months following the 2016 presidential election, lobbyists representing the Saudi government reserved several blocks of rooms at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., paying for an estimated 500 nights, The Washington Post reports.

The veterans were campaigning against the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, passed by Congress in September 2016.

Some of those rooms were used by groups of military veterans who were brought to lobby against a law allowing victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue foreign governements, which could potentially include Saudi Arabia. The luxury rooms were to be used by United States military veterans as part of a free trip to Washington while lobbying Congress against the anti- Saudi bill. This would lead to lawsuits against US soldiers for their actions.

Documents obtained by the Post showed that Saudi officials paid for six groups of USA military veterans to stay at the Trump hotel for periods of time between December 2016 and February 2017, following Congress' decision to override former President Barack Obama's veto of the law. The veterans involved in the lobbying campaigns were instructed to speak with lawmakers specifically about JASTA.

"It made all the sense in the world when we found out that the Saudis had paid for it", Henry Garcia, a veteran who participated in the trip told the Post. He said the organizers never said anything about Saudi Arabia when they invited him- and he went on three of the trips.

"We realized we were pawns", Casler said.

Like this: