9/11 Justice Group slate Donald Trump as ‘utter disgrace’ for hosting Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series

Former President Donald Trump has been accused of ‘dishonoring America’ by hosting an event of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Series by the 9/11 Justice Group.

The third event of the controversial LIV Golf Series will be held at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, New Jersey, this week. 

The former President’s courses will play host to not one but two events in the series with the final tournament taking place at his course in Doral, Florida, in October. 

The event at Bedminster this week is bringing politics to the fairways with Trump being slammed for his involvement with the Saudi-backed series by the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.  

The breakaway organization has already faced intense scrutiny and backlash for its ties to the Saudi Arabia government. 

LIV Golf is funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and with lucrative deals the series has attracted some of the biggest stars.

Although the Saudi government has not been directly linked to the 9/11 attacks, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals. 

Brett Eagleson, President of 9/11 Justice and son of John Bruce Eagleson, who was murdered in the South Tower of the World Trade Center, has slated the former President for hosting the event. 

Former President Donald Trump has been accused of 'dishonoring America' by hosting an event of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Series by the 9/11 Justice Group

Former President Donald Trump has been accused of ‘dishonoring America’ by hosting an event of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Series by the 9/11 Justice Group

The third event of the controversial LIV Golf Series will be held at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, New Jersey, this week

The third event of the controversial LIV Golf Series will be held at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, New Jersey, this week

Eagleson told Sportsmail: ‘We’re just absolutely appalled by this decision. We’re really upset and frustrated. We think that Trump’s decision to engage with the Saudis and, even worse, to have this tournament in the shadows of Ground Zero is horrifying. 

‘This tournament in being held in the backyard of where 750 people from the state of New Jersey were murdered. This tournament is being held less than 50 miles from where people are standing trial as we speak for their role in 9/11. 

‘We now have publicly declassified documents from President Biden from the executive order last year that show at least a dozen Saudi government officials aided and abetted the 9/11 hijackers, one of which was working for the Saudi intelligence agency.’

Brett Eagleson, President of 9/11 Justice, has slated the former President for hosting the event

Brett Eagleson, President of 9/11 Justice, has slated the former President for hosting the event

Members of the 9/11 Justice group will protest the tournament down the street from the course

Members of the 9/11 Justice group will protest the tournament down the street from the course

STRADA HITS OUT AT LIV GOLF DEFECTORS

Terry Strada, National Chair of 9/11 Families United, and widow of Tom Strada, who worked on the 104th floor in the North Tower, spoke at a press conference on Tuesday.  

She said: ‘When you agree to join LIV Golf, you are partaking in the Kingdom’s effort to cleanse their responsibility for their murder of Christine-Lee Hanson, the youngest victim of September 11 who was just two years old, killed on United flight 175 travelling to Disney World with their parents.

‘Just 50 miles from where they will tee off on Friday is a national museum on hallowed ground ensuring visitors from around the world never forget. And a repository safeguarding charred remains of 40 per cent of the victims, who have never been identified or returned home for a proper burial – including my husband.

‘On September 11, after nearly three hours of unprecedented terror, by 19 Saudi-funded terrorists, Bedminster and surrounding towns came together in extraordinary ways. 750 innocent people from New Jersey were brutally murdered, leaving over 1000 children in our towns without a parent. Including my three, who were 7, 4 and 4 days’ old.

‘Now, 20 years later, I am appalled to be standing here speaking about professional golfers’ offensive, disrespectful and hurtful participation in sportswashing and how their new partner, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Bin Salman, is exploiting them to improve the Saudi Kingdom’s image in the US by associating the Kingdom with a respected and time-honored sport to distract attention from its role in unleashing extremism on the world, terrorising our children, murdering our loved ones and injuring thousands of survivors

‘Ignoring our pleas not to betray their countrymen and our warnings about their new paymasters’ indefensible goals… these defectors have left the PGA tour to become part of the Kingdom’s team.

‘To those players who have ignorantly towed the Kingdom’s line… you have become mouthpieces for the kingdom.

‘LIV Golf is not about sports… it’s a multi-billion dollar PR stunt bought and paid for by the KSA by joining Liv, players have shamelessly partnered with the very country that US intelligence reports prove had numerous connections to the attacks on September 11.’

Members of the 9/11 Justice group whose loved ones were killed in the terrorist attacks in 2001 demonstrated outside LIV Golf’s previous event in Portland and are set to do the same in New Jersey this week.

The group will also hold a press conference on Friday – the first day of the event – down the street from the course to highlight the Saudi government’s role in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Saudi efforts to ‘sportswash’ their checkered human rights record and what the group says is the complicity of players to take the money and look the other way. 

Eagleson recounted a 2019 meeting with the former President at the White House alongside his mom and 11 other family members. 

He claimed that Trump said he ‘was going to declassify the documents, help us and bring us justice’ leaving them elated, only for former Attorney General William Barr to invoke the State Secrets Privilege 24 hours later making the documents completely classified and protecting the Saudis. 

When asked what he would say to Trump if he had the chance to talk to him again, Eagleson replied: ‘I would ask him, knowing what you know about the Saudis and 9/11, why are you putting them before the families of those that grieved so much, why are you putting them before America?

Eagleson claimed a representative for Trump personally called him last week in response to a letter the 9/11 Justice group sent relaying its ‘deep pain and anger’ over the decision to host two LIV golf events.

They reportedly said that Trump had read the letter, and told Eagleson ‘the President had received my letter and that he would remember all the signatures and that 9/11 is very near to him, is such an important issue and that we’re all in his heart and mind’. 

Eagleson slammed the response as underwhelming as he said: ‘Those words ring hollow because if it was so important to him why wouldn’t he call me personally? Why did he have an aide call me? 

‘They just repeated the same talking points, this aide had no answers for why the President was continuing to engage with the Saudis despite knowing what he knows. They were pre-scripted talking points and I think that it was just an obligatory call.’

‘I made a deal with them,’ Trump said of the LIV executives, via CNN. ‘They’re very good people. They’re very fine people. 

‘Greg Norman’s been a total gentleman, you know, and he’s wanted to do this for years and now he has the right backers because, you know, [the Saudi money] is unlimited. 

‘They can do the job right. I think when you put up first-place prize money for $6 or $7million, I think a lot of people are gonna be showing up, to be honest with you.’ 

Although Trump describes Norman, the face of the series, as a ‘gentleman’, the Australian has come under fire for his involvement in the organization, in particular for claiming ‘everyone makes mistakes’ when quizzed over the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

He claimed a representative for Trump called him in response to a letter sent by the group

He claimed a representative for Trump called him in response to a letter sent by the group

Trump described former professional and face of the series Greg Norman as a 'gentleman'

Trump described former professional and face of the series Greg Norman as a ‘gentleman’

Trump has not only agreed to host two of LIV Golf’s events but has also encouraged players to join the breakaway tournament, including American stars Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau. 

On his Truth Social site, Trump urged current players on the PGA Tour to jump ship last week. 

‘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,’ Trump wrote. 

‘If you don’t take the money now, you will get nothing after the merger takes place, and only say how smart the original signees were.’ 

The top American players who have defected to the Saudi-backed series have faced intense criticism from 9/11 groups for their involvement in the series. 

Phil Mickelson (pictured), Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau have already defected

Phil Mickelson (pictured), Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau have already defected

However, Eagleson believes it is not only the American players who should be ashamed. 

He said: ‘It’s not just the American players but everyone all over the world knows the atrocities that they [the Saudis] commit. 

‘It’s a disgrace to women, it’s a disgrace to homosexuals, it is a disgrace to anyone who believes in good. It’s not just 9/11, let’s talk about how they oppress women, let’s talk about public executions. 

‘For people like Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson to say they’re just providing for their families, well my dad was just providing for his family when he went to work that day and got blown away. Those comments are just adding fuel to the fire and my advice to them would be to just shut up.

Eagleson advised the likes of Johnson to 'just shut up' following their comments on the series

Eagleson advised the likes of Johnson to ‘just shut up’ following their comments on the series

‘But it all starts with 9/11 and our country has never held the kingdom responsible so they think they have a free pass to operate with immunity.’

Trump’s ties to the Saudis are not a new emergence, however. He spent four years cozying up to the kingdom and the first foreign visit of his presidency was to Saudi Arabia in 2017. 

Throughout his presidency, Trump also backed Saudi Arabia’s stance against Iran and encouraged its purchase of US-made weapons. 

Last year, the wealth fund, led by the Saudi crown prince, also reportedly injected $2billion into the company of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to the New York Times.

The wealth fund, led by the Saudi crown prince, also reportedly injected $2billion into the company of Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner (right, pictured with wife, Ivanka Trump)

The wealth fund, led by the Saudi crown prince, also reportedly injected $2billion into the company of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner (right, pictured with wife, Ivanka Trump)

The Bedminster course was due to play host to the 2022 PGA Championship but the PGA of America withdrew the event in the wake of the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. 

It had been the first time one of his 19 courses had been selected to host a men’s major golf tournament and for Trump it represented the moment he had finally ‘made it’ in the golfing world. 

However, the triumph was ripped away from him with the PGA of America’s board of directors taking the decision to strip Bedminster of the major the day after the Capitol Hill riots. 

According to POLITICO, Trump Golf entered into a legal dispute with the PGA of America, which was resolved out of court at the end of last year. 

Now, though, the former President is back at the golfing table having been offered a way back in by the Saudi league. 

Trump's Bedminster course was due to play host to the 2022 PGA Championship but the PGA of America withdrew the event in the wake of the storming of the US Capitol on January 6 2021

Trump’s Bedminster course was due to play host to the 2022 PGA Championship but the PGA of America withdrew the event in the wake of the storming of the US Capitol on January 6 2021

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