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Sanders, Clinton Support Bill To Let 9/11 Families Sue Saudi Arabia

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Both Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders say they support legislation that would let Americans sue Saudi Arabia over the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Clinton and Sanders both spoke about the bill Monday on the eve of the New York presidential primary.

Speaking in a live interview on WCBS 880, Clinton said she supports the legislation, saying it's important "to try to find out what actually did happen."

"If there are people or institutions or governments who should be held accountable, that should be part of the bringing to justice anyone or any state that had any role in the horrors of 9/11," Clinton said. "We've got to continue to seek the justice that the people who are suing deserve to have."


Sanders also spoke in favor of the bill on "CBS This Morning."

"It is about suing any government, not just Saudi Arabia, that may have been involved in terrorism," he said. But Sanders added that he thinks "getting the truth out about the role Saudi Arabia may be playing is a good and right thing."

The bill is opposed by the Obama administration, but it's important to families of 9/11 victims, some of whom believe Saudi officials played some part in the attacks. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11 were citizens of Saudi Arabia.

U.S. inquiries have not reported a link between the Saudi government or its senior officials and the attacks. But Sanders noted that there is speculation about 28 pages of classified information on 9/11 that "may indicate that parts of the Saudi family may have funded some of the terrorists."

The Vermont senator, however, said he has not read the 28 pages that have been redacted from a congressional report on 9/11, even though he has access to them.

"The difficulty is, you see then, if you read them, then you're gonna ask me a question, you're gonna say, 'You read them, what's in them?' And now I can tell you honestly I have not," he said.

On the Republican side, GOP front-runner Donald Trump was vague on how he feels about the bill, WCBS 880's Kelly Waldron reported. Ted Cruz and John Kasich have yet to comment.

Saudi Arabia is a key U.S. ally and has threatened financial retaliation if the bill becomes law, CBS News reported.

The royal embassy of Saudi Arabia did not respond to a request for comment from "CBS This Morning," but last week, it said: "The 9/11 commission confirmed that there is no evidence that the government of Saudi Arabia supported or funded Al Qaeda."

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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