Washington, Dec 6 (IANS) Saudi lobbyists moved business to US President Donald Trump’s hotel in Washington DC within a month of his election in 2016, paying for an estimated 500 nights’ stay at the luxury hotel in just three months, the media reported.
According to a report in the Washington Post, the lobbyists for the Saudis spent around $270,000 at the Trump hotel in total, housing dozens of US military veterans brought to the district to lobby Congress against a recently-passed law allowing victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sue other governments.
The amount Saudi lobbyists spent at Trump’s hotel for the effort was previously reported by The Wall Street Journal last year.
The Post reported that the 500 nights in Trump’s hotel came at a discounted rate and organizers claimed that was the reason they moved their business there.
Some of the veterans that the Post spoke to said they were not aware they were lobbying on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
Documents obtained by the Post showed that Saudi officials paid for six groups of US 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 aim of the lobbying efforts appeared to be an amendment to the law, though no changes were ever passed through Congress and some veterans involved told the Post that it was unclear what specific changes the groups organizing the trips desired to see, the Hill newspaper reported.
The President has faced criticism since taking office over his ties to the Trump Organization, which has at times received business from Republican and pro-Trump groups and organizations, as well as members of foreign governments.