A resort owned by former U.S. President Donald Trump in New Jersey will, according to New Yorker magazine, host a round of the international golf tournament invited by Riyadh in a move that has sparked controversy.
A group of families of 9/11 victims who have long accused Saudi Arabia of aiding the terrorists who carried out the attacks sent a letter to Trump last Sunday, saying they had “extreme pain, frustration and anger “felt as a result of the decision to host the Saudi-sponsored competition at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey for three days from July 29.
“The evidence against Saudi Arabia and its role in the attacks is clearer than ever,” said Brett Eagleson, president of 9/11 Justice and the son of one of the victims of the World Trade Center attack. .
The group has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Saudi Arabia of complicity in the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001, according to the Associated Press.
It also sought the release of classified FBI documents related to Saudi Arabia’s role in the attacks.
The Saudi government has denied any involvement in the attacks. But family members said Trump blamed the Saudis in a 2016 Fox News interview.
“Who blew up the World Trade Center? They were not Iraqis, they were Saudis. Look at Saudi Arabia. Open the documents,” Trump told Fox and Friends.
According to the “New Yorker”, Trump on Monday indirectly responded to the criticism of the families of the victims of September 11 when he advised through his social platform that professional golfers who did not join the Saudi tour, in some circles known as the “Ponso Tour”, “get a chance to get a chance to win the tournament.” money now. “
In its report, the magazine noted that Trump “avoids talking about the events of September 11, the message of protest he received or talking about the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, or that the Saudi government through its investments in golf, football and other professional sports, is clearly trying to divert attention. “its oppressive and tyrannical nature.
John Hirsch, program director at Democracy for the Arab World Now, a research and advocacy group co-founded by Jamal Khashoggi, said Riyadh’s spending on the sports field was “part of a broader game by the Saudis. regime so that people forget events and facts like September 11 or the execution of 81 people in one day, as happened recently. “
“Instead of acknowledging these issues, Trump wrote in his post that all golfers who remain loyal to the PGA Championship will pay an inevitably expensive price,” Hersh said, criticizing the former US president.
Trump referred to the monopoly issues that the U.S. Department of Justice is considering to prevent PGA Tour players from participating in the Saudi-backed LIV tournament.
The “New Yorker” indicated that Trump is not only trying to make a profit and make money by hosting that tournament, he also has a “willingness to take revenge” on the “BGE” tour that took place in 2016 withdrawn, and during Trump’s successful presidential campaign, the championship A large number of another track he owns, known as the “Trump National Doral,” made him furious.
Since his purchase of New Jersey in 2002, he has invested heavily to make it worthy of one of the four major golf tournaments.
But in January last year, following the attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters, the PGA withdrew its 2022 tournament from Bedminster, and PGA President Jim Richerson said at the time that pairing the tournament with Trump Stadium “the trademark would be damaged. ” And it endangers. his ability to provide many programs and the continuation of his mission. ”
The decision comes after many politicians and others blamed Trump for the attack on the Capitol by his supporters, which killed five people.
“We felt that given the tragic events of Wednesday, we could no longer hold the championship in Bedminster. The damage from having it was irreparable and the only real way of action was to leave.”
The association, which has a membership of 29,000 golf professionals in the United States, signed the contract to host the tournament in Bedminster in 2014.
The federation previously canceled a Grand Slam tournament at Trump National Stadium in Los Angeles in 2015 after derogatory remarks made by the outgoing president in 2015 about Mexican immigrants.