President Obama in an interview broadcast early Tuesday rejected legislation allowing victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia’s government, saying it would expose the U.S. to endless lawsuits.
“This is a matter of how ... the United States approaches our interactions with other countries,” he told host Charlie Rose on "CBS This Morning."
“If we open up the possibility that individuals and the United States can routinely start suing other governments, then we are also opening up the United States to being continually sued by individuals in other countries.”
The bill, called the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, would allow families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and other attacks to sue nations that support terrorism.
Sens. John CornynJohn CornynAll hostages free, safe after hours-long standoff at Texas synagogue: governor McConnell will run for another term as leader despite Trump's attacks Republicans threaten floor takeover if Democrats weaken filibuster MORE (R-Texas) and Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Voting rights week for Democrats (again) Kelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race Hundreds attend mass funeral for victims of Bronx apartment building fire MORE (D-N.Y.) authored the measure, arguing it would let 9/11 victims pursue recourse against Qatar and Saudi Arabia for supporting groups like al Qaeda.
Democratic presidential primary rivals Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket A year into his presidency, Biden is polling at an all-time low MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersShame on Biden for his Atlanta remarks — but are we surprised? Overnight Health Care — Biden faces pressure from Democrats on COVID-19 Sanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown MORE (I-Vt.) have both endorsed the legislation.
“Wherever the trail may lead, it should be followed,” said Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, on WABC radio. "We need justice.”
Lawmakers are now pressuring Obama to release 28 pages of the 9/11 report that are rumored to link Saudi Arabia to the attacks but were redacted upon release.
Obama on CBS said that a review of the controversial documents is ongoing and likely concluding soon.
“I have a sense of what’s in there,” he told Rose. "But this has been a process which we generally reveal with through the intelligence community and Jim Clapper, our director of National Intelligence, has been going through to make sure that whatever it is that is released is not going ot compromise some major national security interest of the United States. My understanding is that he’s about to complete that process."