Trump Ignores 9/11 Families, Urges Golfers to Play for Saudi-Backed Tour

Former President Donald Trump doubled down on his support for a Saudi Arabia-backed golf tour at one of his golf courses on Monday amid criticism from the families of 9/11 victims.

Trump's golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, is set to host the LIV Golf Invitational, funded by Saudi Arabia, from July 29 to 31. However, the tournament provoked the ire of 9/11 families, who are taking issue with the former president hosting the tournament over Saudi Arabia's alleged role in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack, which claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people.

"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 group, 9/11 Justice, wrote in a letter, which was first reported by The New York Times, to Trump on Sunday.

Sept. 11 families urge Trump cancel tournament
Former President Donald Trump doubled down on his support for the Saudi-backed LIV golf tournament on Monday. His comments come after families of 9/11 victims called on him to cancel the tournament, set to be held at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course later in July. Above, Trump speaks at a rally in Mendon, Illinois, on June 25. Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

The group said it is "incomprehensible" that Trump or any other former president would "cast our loved ones aside for a personal financial gain."

On Monday, after the group sent its letter, Trump doubled down on his support for LIV in a post on Truth Social.

In the message, the ex-president took a swipe at the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA), which moved its 2022 Championship from his golf course over his alleged role in the January 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol when a group of Trump supporters rioted in a failed effort to force Congress to block President Joe Biden's electoral college victory.

He did not, however, address the concerns expressed by 9/11 families in his social media post.

"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," he wrote.

He continued: "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. Good luck to all, and congratulations to really talented Cam Smith on his incredible WIN!"

The group's letter called out Trump for previously acknowledging Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11, but still agreeing to host the golf tournament. The families recalled an appearance on Fox & Friends in February 2016 when Trump said: "Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn't the Iraqis—it was Saudi. Take a look at Saudi Arabia."

During his presidential tenure, Trump, at times, faced scrutiny for his relationship with Saudi Arabia, which was painted by critics as being too close. The former president also offered the Middle Eastern country military support and met with its leaders.

The most recent criticism against Trump comes just after his successor President Joe Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia, where he tried to begin a path to stronger diplomatic relations. A separate group, 9/11 Families United, also raised concerns about Biden's trip after documents declassified last year on the 20th anniversary of the attack proved that Saudi Arabia was involved.

Newsweek reached out to Trump's office for comment.