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Tulsi Gabbard urges release of info showing possible Saudi link to 9/11

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, at the 9/11 Tribute Museum in Manhattan on Tuesday, called for the declassification and release of documents she said could tie Saudi Arabia to the 9/11 attacks. Credit: Charles Eckert

Secret documents that could tie Saudi Arabia to the 9/11 terrorist attacks should be declassified and released, Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard said Tuesday at Ground Zero.

Flanked by survivors and family members of 9/11 victims, Gabbard said the United States should suspend weapons sales and foreign aid to the oil-rich kingdom over the issue, which she said could possibly expose Saudi complicity with the “radical Islamic terrorists” responsible for the attacks.

“See the truth for what it is,"  Gabbard said at a news conference in the basement of the 9/11 Tribute Museum in Lower Manhattan. "Hold our own leaders accountable for withholding the truth from the American people.”

Gabbard said that she wants President Donald Trump to start “sharing the truth” about the Saudis.

“Stand with the American people that you took the oath to serve, not the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, not Prince Mohammad bin Salman,” its crown prince.

She said: "Even as we are approaching 20 years after this attack took place, there are still ongoing questions as to whether the Saudi government — or personnel within their government — were involved in any way with this attack, how they aided the attackers." 

About nine months before his 2016 election, then-candidate Trump told Fox News he supported releasing information that could possibly tie the Saudi government to the attacks.

"Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis," Trump said. "It was Saudi — take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents."

An email and phone message seeking comment from the White House were not returned, and the press line at the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C., rang to a voicemail box that wasn’t working.

Gabbard — a congresswoman from Hawaii who served two combat tours in the Middle East — has advocated upending some of America’s long-standing policies abroad. She wants the U.S. to stop pushing democracy on other countries and get out of foreign wars.

In a Granite State Poll released Tuesday, Gabbard tied for fifth place with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and entrepreneur Andrew Yang in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was first in the poll, with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts a close second.

Earlier this month in a podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that Gabbard was a “Russian asset” being set up to run as third-party candidate to help Trump win reelection in 2020. Gabbard tweeted in response that Clinton was “the queen of warmongers.”

At Tuesday’s event, Gabbard, noted that 15 of the 19 hijackers who commandeered the doomed planes on Sept. 11, 2001 that killed nearly 3,000 people were Saudi citizens. She said the U.S. should condition military sales and other aid on the documents' release.

“We should not be selling them our weapons,” she said. “We should not be aiding or providing them with any kind of support so long as they continue…" 

From 2013 to 2017, Saudi Arabia was the biggest recipient of U.S. arms sales, accounting for 18 percent of such exports, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

A survivor of the attacks who was at Gabbard’s news conference, Tim Frolich, called Gabbard “our champion." He is among survivors suing the Saudi government in federal court.

Also there in support was John Feal, founder of the Nesconset-based FealGood Foundation.

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