Since the Fall 2016 override of then President Obama’s veto of JASTA, Saudi lobbying money has poured into the United States and into the hands of lobbyists, law firms, think tanks and large defense contractors. The Trump administration has built upon and furthered the long-standing relationship between previous administrations and the Saudi royal family.
Saudi lobbying increased to $27.3 million in 2017 from $7.7 million in 2016. Groups connected to former senators, governors, top military officials, journalists and national security advisers have all been the beneficiaries of the Saudi ramped up efforts.
In addition to the surge in reported lobbying efforts, a complaint was filed in 2017 on behalf of 9/11 families that alleged that the Saudis were funding propaganda campaigns that used unwitting American military veterans as advocates for the Saudi government.
"The Saudis are very dirty in their fighting," said Terry Strada, a September 11th widow and one of the main plaintiffs in the 9/11 families’ suit against Saudi Arabia. "Veterans were showing up in Washington using language identical to Saudi talking points. Let's face it, the only people they thought could go up against 9/11 families and be successful were veterans."
Several of the veterans were unaware that the Saudi’s were sponsoring their visit which included a stay at the Trump International Hotel. Lobbying records show the KSA paid the $270,000 hotel bill.
Photo Credit: Facebook
Read more: bit.ly/SaudiInfluenceInWashington