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Tipsheet

Hillary Says She Hasn't 'Studied' Schumer's 9/11 Bill, But Supports it Anyway

Hillary Clinton’s interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday was mocked for being billed as a tough one-on-one interrogation, considering Stephanopoulos once donated to the Clinton Foundation. Surprisingly, however, their conversation produced some hard-hitting moments that really placed the former secretary of state on her heels. Clinton deferred an answer, for instance, when Stephanopoulos asked her whether she’ll release her Wall Street transcripts. Another cringeworthy moment came when the ABC anchor pressed her on a controversial 9/11-related bill sponsored by Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.

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Schumer’s bi-partisan Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act would allow 9/11 families to sue state sponsors of terrorism in federal court. It would particularly hold Saudi Arabia accountable. The Obama administration opposes it, claiming it will put Americans at legal risk overseas. This leaves Clinton with the uncomfortable position of having to side with Schumer ahead of Tuesday’s important Empire State primary, or the president. She pleaded the fifth, insisting she didn't have enough information.

Stephanopoulos: “So who’s right here, Senator Schumer or President Obama?”

Clinton: “I don't really know about that, George. I’ll have to look into it. Obviously, we’ve got to make anyone who participates in or supports terrorism pay a price, and we also have to be aware of any consequences that might affect Americans, either military or civilian or our nation. So, I’m not able to take a position on something…” 

Stephanopoulos expressed surprise Clinton wasn’t aware of legislation that has been around for several years, but Clinton simply repeated that she’ll “look into it.”

Despite not being fully versed on the legislation, it wasn’t minutes later that Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill tweeted that she was fully supportive of the bill. 

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Considering Clinton’s quick turnaround, can voters really believe she took the time to study the text? Or, is she just making another politically convenient announcement a day out of the New York contest?

To be fair, Clinton’s opponent Bernie Sanders, who also appeared on ABC this weekend, has not taken a solid position on the legislation either, indicating he needs to take a closer look at its contents. Yet, he took a harder stance against Saudi Arabia, stating it is “playing a very dangerous role in fomenting fundamentalism all over the world."

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