By Shannon Longworth (Reporter), Jack Aylmer (Producer)
Former President Donald Trump has been criticized for his golf club’s scheduled hosting of an upcoming LIV Golf event. Those affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center have condemned the former commander-in-chief for his association with the league, whose Saudi Arabian funders they accuse of being involved in the 9/11 plot.
LIV Golf, a breakaway series from the almost-century old PGA Tour, has been luring away some of golf’s top talent with financing from Saudi Arabia’s royal family. As the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey is set serve as the location for the league’s July 29-31 competition, family members of 9/11 victims have spoken out.
“We simply cannot understand how you could agree to accept money from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s golf league to host their tournament at your golf course, and to do so in the shadows of ground zero in New Jersey, which lost over 700 residents during the attacks,” the 9/11 Justice group wrote in a letter to Trump.
The letter went on to accuse the former president of ignoring the victims of 9/11 for his “personal financial gain” and reminded Trump of his own statements that suggested Saudi Arabia’s ties to the worst terrorist attack in human history.
“Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis. It was Saudi. Take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents,” Trump said on Fox News in 2016. “The people came, most of the people came from Saudi Arabia. They didn’t come from Iraq.”
However, Trump has since doubled down on his support of LIV Golf. In a recent post on his Truth Social platform, Trump urged current PGA Tour golfers to join the new league, telling them to “take the money now.”
“All of those golfers that remain ‘loyal’ to the very disloyal PGA, in all of its different forms, will pay a big price when the inevitable MERGER with LIV comes, and you get nothing but a big ‘thank you’ from PGA officials who are making Millions of Dollars a year,” wrote Trump.
This is not the first time that Trump has come into conflict with the PGA Tour. Last year, an agreement to play the 2022 PGA Tour at Trump’s Bedminster course was terminated by the sporting organization’s board of directors following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The Trump Organization responded by bringing legal action against the PGA, which was ultimately settled between the two sides.