9/11 Families Applaud Tillerson’s Position on Accountability for Nations Who Support Terrorism

CONTACT: Terry Strada, (973) 945-7420

New Vernon, N.J. –​ The 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism applaud Secretary of State Nominee Rex Tillerson for his testimony affirming that nations who support terrorism must be held accountable for their actions. Tillerson’s comments echo President-elect Trump’s unwavering support of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act he spoke of during the campaign.

“Rex Tillerson’s testimony today was a clear message to the Saudis and their lobbyists that they will get no bailout from the Trump Administration,” said Terry Strada, National Chair for the 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism. “Mr. Tillerson insisted that nations that support terrorist groups must face consequences for aiding and abetting evil. That is exactly what JASTA ensures, and is why President-elect Trump strongly supports JASTA as enacted by Congress with overwhelming bi-partisan support. The 9/11 families look forward to working with Mr. Tillerson assuming he is confirmed as Secretary of State.”

“These [terrorist] groups are often enabled and emboldened by nations, organizations, and individuals sympathetic to their cause. These actors must face consequences for aiding and abetting what can only be called evil.”​


In September, when President Obama vetoed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, then-candidate Donald Trump issued a stinging rebuke of the President’s rejection of the pursuit of justice by families and victims of our nation’s most devastating terrorist attack. Congress went on to override the President’s veto, with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. President-elect Trump’s support for JASTA is truly appreciated, and the 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism are confident that he will continue to aid the efforts to seek justice for those who were injured and brutally murdered in the attacks.

Below is the statement issued by Donald Trump on President Obama’s veto of JASTA, on September 23, 2016:

 “President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act is shameful and will go down as one of the low points of his presidency. This bipartisan legislation was passed unanimously by both houses of Congress and would have allowed the families of the nearly 3,000 people slaughtered by radical Islamic terrorists on September 11, 2001, the opportunity to seek justice in an American court of law…

That President Obama would deny the parents, spouses, and children of those we lost on that horrific day the chance to close this painful chapter in their lives is a disgrace…

These are wonderful people, and as a lifelong New Yorker, I am saddened that they will, for now, not have that opportunity. If elected president, I would sign such legislation should it reach my desk.”

Reince Priebus Statement on Senate Override of President Obama’s JASTA Veto

“President Obama’s veto of JASTA showed remarkable disregard for the families of 9/11 victims, and the Senate has done the right thing by overwhelmingly overriding his poor decision. Despite representing a state which suffered an attack on 9/11, Tim Kaine’s decision to hit the campaign trail instead of show up for work is a clear indication he’s more concerned with angling for higher office than fighting for our citizens. Donald Trump has never forgotten the tragic impact of that day, and he will make sure those who have suffered unimaginable losses can get the justice they deserve.” – Reince Priebus, September 28, 2016

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Trump Campaign Statement on Override of President Obama’s Veto of JASTA

“President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act was an insult to the families of those we lost on 9/11 and I congratulate the Congress for righting that terrible wrong. The failure of Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine, who was obviously afraid to show up to work today and stand with these Americans, is a disgrace. It demonstrates his basic inadequacy as a leader. I will never forget that tragic day, nor the thousands who were lost, and neither will Donald Trump. These family members are wonderful people who have gone through the unimaginable. They deserve the opportunity to seek justice and gain closure on this painful chapter in their lives. Now they will finally have the chance to do it.” – Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, September 28, 2016.

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Additional Background:

In late November, 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism issued a statement strongly opposing efforts by Senators McCain and Graham to gut JASTA at the urging of Saudi Arabia and its foreign agent lobbyists, calling those efforts a “betrayal,” which can be read here.