LIV Golf: Donald Trump asks golfers to join a controversial round and ‘take the money now’

“All golfers who remain ‘loyal’ to the highly disloyal PGA, in all its various forms, will pay a heavy price when MERGER comes with the inevitable LIV, and you will get nothing but ‘thanks’ from PGA officials who make millions of dollars a year,” he wrote. Trump on Truth Social Monday.

“If you don’t take the money now, you won’t get anything after the merger happens, you’ll just say how smart the original signatories were.”

His comments come as families of 9/11 victims have urged him to cancel the tournament, citing Saudi support for LIV Golf, according to a letter sent to Trump on Sunday.

Allegations of Saudi government complicity in the September 11, 2001 attacks have long been a bone of contention in Washington. Fifteen of the 19 al-Qaeda terrorists who hijacked four Saudi planes, but the Saudi government denied any involvement in the attacks.
The 9/11 Commission, set up by Congress in 2004, said it found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded” al-Qaeda.

However, families of the victims lobbied for more disclosures, and last year the FBI released a document detailing their work to investigate alleged logistical support provided by a Saudi consular official and a suspected Saudi intelligence agent in Los Angeles to at least two people. kidnappers.

“The Saudi nation is largely responsible for the deaths of our loved ones and for the horrific attack on America. And you know it,” 9/11 Justice, which represents survivors and their family members of terrorist attacks, said in the letter.

Brett Eggelson is a defender of the group and his father, John Bruce Eagleson, was among those who died during the World Trade Center attacks. Eagleson told CNN that the decision to host the tournament was “unreasonable.”

In the letter, he said the decision caused “deep pain and anger” among voters, given Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in the attacks and material support for al-Qaeda, as FBI reports made clear.

“The FBI notes that a lot of information has come to light since the 9/11 Commission published its report in 2004,” Eggelson writes in the letter, repeatedly referring to the existence of US-based Saudi ‘support networks’ for the 9/11 hijackers. .

In an email, Eagleson confirmed that the golf course where the LIV is scheduled to play is “in the backyard where 750 New Jersey residents were killed.”

“The former president correctly speculated in 2016 that Saudi Arabia demolished the towers and now the FBI has released the documents to prove it,” Eggelson told CNN, however he is choosing the money over America. day.”

The group demanded that members of the former president visit in the coming days to discuss their concerns and urge him to “stop further dealings with the regime that was complicit in the murder of our loved ones,” according to the letter.

LIV Golf issued a statement in response to the letter on Monday.

“As we have said all along, these families have our deepest sympathies. And while some may not agree, we believe that golf is a force for good throughout the world.”

CNN has reached out to representatives for Trump and the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster for comment.

Notably, last year, the PGA Tour voted to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster. The decision came after the violent attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters.

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The tour has held two tournaments so far – in London and near Portland, Oregon. The in-ring event is scheduled for late October at Trump National Doral Miami in Florida.

In June, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced that all member golfers who play in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series have been suspended and will no longer be eligible to participate in the PGA Tour tournaments.

The US Department of Justice is investigating the PGA Tour about potential antitrust violations involving LIV Golf, the PGA Tour confirmed to CNN last week.

Several top golfers such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson Deschamps and Brooks Koepka have joined LIV, which is led by world number one Greg Norman and backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) – a sovereign wealth fund headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia.

CNN’s Kevin Dotson contributed to this report.

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