Hundreds of veterans were unwittingly used as pawns to lobby for US legislation the Saudi government supported, and put up in luxury hotel rooms in Washington DC - all paid for by the Saudi Arabian government.
Saudi Arabia-funded lobbyists paid for rooms at President Donald Trump's Washington hotel within a month of the 2016 presidential election and kept coming back, racking up more than 500 nights in three months, The Washington Post reported, citing documents and organizers of the stays.
That's according to The Washington Post, which reports the lobbyists then offered the rooms to US military veterans as part of a free trip to Washington.
The law the Saudis opposed - the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act - allows victims of 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia.
The stays at the Trump International Hotel, costing an estimated $270,000 for rooms, food and parking, were for USA military veterans who were brought to the capital in a Saudi-funded campaign against anti-terrorism legislation, The Washington Post reported.
At first, Saudi lobbyists put the veterans up in Northern Virginia. The veterans invited to Washington D.C. were encouraged to "storm the hill" and lobby against JASTA.
Documents obtained by the Post showed that Saudi officials paid for six groups of U.S. 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.
Since then, reviews carried out by the Post of emails, agendas and disclosure forms from the Saudis' lobbyists and interviews with two dozen veterans provide far more detail about the extent of the trips and the organisers' interactions with veterans than have previously been reported.
"It made all the sense in the world, when we found out that the Saudis had paid for it", said Navy veteran Henry Garcia.
"We realized we were pawns", Casler said.