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Advocate says past administrations have sided more with Saudis than 9/11 families

An advocate for 9/11 families told Hill.TV in an interview that aired Monday on "Rising" that past U.S. administrations have sided more with the Saudi government than the families of victims despite links between Riyadh and the attacks nearly 20 years ago. 

"They've all handled it the same," Terry Strada, the national chairwoman of 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism, told co-host Krystal Ball last week. "They have sided with the Saudis more than they have sided with the 9/11 families." 

"However, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE has not done anything to my knowledge that has hurt us. He actually supported the bill that we had to enact, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, right when he was being elected as president," she continued. 

"But Democrat, Republican, past administrations, they usually side with the Saudis," she said. "Obama, he vetoed the bill that we needed to pass, and we came back and overrode his veto. Unanimously we passed it out of the Senate, unanimously out of the House, and then we came back with a veto override, his one and only veto override of his entire presidency." 

In 2016 then-President Obama vetoed the legislation, which aimed to allow families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S courts. 

Obama argued at the time that the legislation would prove to be ineffective. 

“I recognize that there is nothing that could ever erase the grief the 9/11 families have endured," Obama wrote in his veto message. "Enacting JASTA into law, however, would neither protect Americans from terrorist attacks nor improve the effectiveness of our response to such attacks."

The Trump administration has also come under fire for its handling of U.S.-Saudi relations, most recently in regards to the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

The U.S. intelligence community has reportedly determined that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the death of Khashoggi, who was a critic of the government, but Trump has stopped short of echoing that view. 
 

— Julia Manchester