Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, reacted to the difficulties Chris Ganci and Brett Eagleson, two relatives of victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks were having in their quest to obtain more information about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in 9/11.
Gabbard accused the federal government of undermining efforts of achieving more transparency, which she said was being done at the behest of Saudi Arabia.
Partial transcript as follows:
CARLSON: This is one of those issues I don’t think is partisan. It doesn’t need to be. It shouldn’t be partisan in any sense.
GABBARD: Absolutely not.
CARLSON: It’s an American issue. Why would the U.S. government ever side with the Saudi Kingdom of all countries against our citizens?
GABBARD: This is the real question that’s at stake. This story that we’re hearing from the families of those who were killed on 9/11 pushes this issue to the forefront where, for so long, leaders in our government have said, well, Saudi Arabia is our great ally. They’re a partner in counterterrorism, turning a blind eye or completely walking away from the reality that Saudi Arabia time and again, has proven to be the opposite.
GABBARD: They’re undermining our National Security interests. They are — as you said, they are the number one exporter of this Wahhabi extremist ideology.
GABBARD: They’re a fertile recruiting ground for terrorists, like al Qaeda and ISIS around the world. They’re directly providing arms and assistance to al Qaeda, in places like Yemen, and in Syria.
And as we are seeing here, it is our government, our own government that is hiding the truth from Chris and Brett and the many other families of those who were killed on 9/11. For what? Where do the loyalties really lie?
CARLSON: So I was thinking in the commercial break that of the number of people I know personally, not abstractly, but have had lunch with in this city who are taking currently money from the Saudi Kingdom or their allies in the Emirates, the Gulf States, and I wonder if that maybe play some role, like a lot of people on their payroll here.
GABBARD: Yes. We talk about the foreign policy establishment in Washington.
GABBARD: We talk about the political elite, the military-industrial complex. We hear things from some of those people, well, you know, hey, we sell a lot of weapons to Saudi Arabia. So you know, if we burn bridges with them, then who are we going to sell our weapons to? Where are we going to get that money from?
All of these excuses that have nothing to do with the interests of the American people, with our national security interests. And that’s — I’m proud and honored to be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with these 9/11 families in demanding this truth because, yes, it is about truth and justice and closure for all of them now as we approach 20 years since that attack on 9/11. It’s also about our National Security.
GABBARD: Safety and security of the American people.
CARLSON: I’ll never forget right after 9/11, living here in the City of Washington, our airports were closed. All airports were closed in this country.
CARLSON: And learning that chartered flights of Saudi citizens had been allowed with U.S. government approval to take off and run back to Saudi Arabia without being questioned by authorities here and thinking you know, if I tried to do that, I’d be in prison. Why are we giving preference to Saudi citizens over our own citizens?
GABBARD: Exactly. It makes no sense if you think about what would happen if we actually had leaders who were putting the interests of our country above all else. You follow the money trail. It goes back to the military-industrial complex.
You look at how many of the think tanks here in Washington who send so-called experts to go and testify before Congress who are funded by Saudi Arabia to spout their talking points.
You saw how the legislation that we passed in Congress. I was proud to vote for legislation that allowed families like Chris and Brett’s to sue Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia trotted out all of their lobbyists to say why that would be so dangerous, so dangerous for our interests, for them to be allowed to seek justice for their families.
This is about standing up for our country. This is about standing up for our principles and our freedoms and for the truth.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor