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9/11 families slam Trump for hosting Saudi-funded LIV golf tournament

Donald J. Trump speaks during a press conference at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster of New Jersey, United States on July 7, 2021.

Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Families and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks criticized former President Donald Trump for hosting an upcoming tournament for the Saudi-funded LIV golf league at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

The group 9/11 Justice, in a letter dated Sunday, expressed “deep pain and anger” over Trump’s decision to host the tournament. The letter also pointed to a number of moments in which the former president assigned blame to Saudi Arabia for the attacks, which killed 2,977 people in 2001.

“It is incomprehensible to us, Mr. Trump, that a former president of the United States would cast our loved ones aside for personal financial gain,” the group wrote.

Fifteen of the 19 attackers on 9/11 were Saudi citizens, and terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden was born in the country. The Saudi government has repeatedly denied that it was involved in the attacks.

A receptionist at Trump National in Bedminster declined to comment on the 9/11 Justice letter. LIV didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump himself ripped the PGA Tour in a post on his social network, Truth Social, on Monday, but didn’t mention anything about the 9/11 families’ response. The Bedminster course will host its LIV tournament from July 29-31. Trump’s Miami course is slated to host a LIV championship tournament in late October.

The LIV league has made waves in the worlds of sports and geopolitics, as big names like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau signed on for massive paydays.

The PGA Tour suspended players who joined LIV. In turn, the U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly investigating the Tour for potentially anti-competitive behavior against LIV.

The LIV tournament is not the first Saudi business dealing connected to Trump. According to The New York Times, his son-in-law and former White House advisor, Jared Kushner, secured a $2 billion investment from the Saudis’ sovereign investment fund for his private equity firm.

9/11 Justice previously protested the LIV tournament hosted at the Pumpkin Ridge course in Portland, Oregon. More stateside tournaments are scheduled for the fall in Boston, Chicago, culminating in a team championship hosted at Trump’s Doral course in Miami.

The letter to Trump comes on the heels of another it sent to President Joe Biden on the eve of his trip to Saudi Arabia, demanding the president hold the Saudi government accountable for the attacks.

Biden was criticized for perceived insensitivity towards these tensions with the Saudi government. The president met the Saudi Crown Prince with a fist bump amidst vocal advocacy from families and victims of 9/11 and supporters of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.