9/11 victims' families urge Trump to 'reconsider' events with Saudi-backed LIV Golf

9/11 victims’ families urge Trump to ‘reconsider’ events with Saudi-backed LIV Golf

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Family members of people who perished during the September 11, 2001 attack in New York City are urging former President Donald Trump to cancel two upcoming events his golf course is hosting in partnership with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf International Series.

According to a letter from the group 9/11 Justice obtained by the New York Times
the group wants Trump to “reconsider” his business with LIV Golf.

“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 letter stated.

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LIV Golf was founded by former pro golfer Greg Norman and aims to challenge the PGA Tour. The league is an eight-tournament circuit that features seven regular-season tournaments and one team event in October. It will be hosted at golf courses near Boston, Chicago and Miami in the United States — one event was already held in Portland, Ore. — and internationally in Thailand and Saudi Arabia (one event has already taken place in the United Kingdom).

Additionally, the circuit will be in New Jersey, playing a tournament at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster beginning July 29. Its final event, starting on Oct. 27, will be hosted by Trump National Doral.

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“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 letter continued.

According to the Times’s report, the letter also outlined a 2016 Fox News interview Trump participated in. In that interview, Trump said, “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis. It was Saudi. Take a look at Saudi Arabia.” Trump continued to say: “The people came, most of the people came from Saudi Arabia. They didn’t come from Iraq.”

Representatives for former President Trump did not respond to requests for comment on this story, and have not responded to the letter from 9/11 Justice, group president Brett Eagleson said on Sunday. 

Many high-profile golfers — including Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Patrick Reed — have been criticized for joining the league.

Phil Mickelson was reportedly offered $200 million just to play in the league, and Dustin Johnson was reportedly offered $150 million to play. Those amounts would be simply for participation, and further tournament winnings for LIV golf events could make payments to those golfers even bigger.

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According to the U.S. Department of State, Saudia Arabia has been accused in recent years of human rights violations including unlawful killings; executions for nonviolent offenses; forced disappearances; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of prisoners and detainees by government agents; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; political prisoners or detainees, among other offenses.

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