Wednesday, December 12, 2018

San Antonio Veteran Among Those Given Trip to D.C. as Part of Saudi Lobbying Scheme

Posted By on Wed, Dec 12, 2018 at 2:41 PM

click to enlarge Veterans were given free trips to Washington D.C. by Saudi lobbyists and some were housed in a hotel owned by President Trump. - GAGE SKIDMORE (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
  • Gage Skidmore (Wikimedia Commons)
  • Veterans were given free trips to Washington D.C. by Saudi lobbyists and some were housed in a hotel owned by President Trump.
At least one San Antonio veteran had a walk-on role in a tale of political intrigue reported last week by the Washington Post.

Shortly after President Trump's election, lobbyists for the Saudi government reserved a large block of D.C.-area hotel rooms — including 500 in a Trump-owned property — to offer U.S. veterans free trips to Washington, according to the Post story. However, there was a catch: the vets were expected to go to Capitol Hill to lobby against a law the Saudis opposed.

One of the people pulled into the scheme was San Antonio's Henry Garcia, a Navy veteran. 

“It made all the sense in the world, when we found out that the Saudis had paid for it,” Garcia told the Post. The trip's organizers never mentioned working for the Saudi government, he added.



Garcia told the paper he thought other vets organized the trips. But that theory fell apart when he saw the open bars, free dinners and other lavish perks included with the stay. Lobbyists spent more than $270,000 to house the vets at the Trump property, according to records obtained by the Post.

Garcia figured out who was footing the bill after one of the organizers mentioned a Saudi prince.

“I said, ‘Oh, we were just used to give Trump money,’” Garcia said.

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years.


It’s never been more important to support local news sources. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.


If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.


Calendar

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation