LIV Golf: Donald Trump urges golfers to join controversial tour and ‘take the money now’


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

“If you don’t take the money now, you won’t get anything after the merger, just saying how smart the original signers were.”

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

Allegations that the Saudi government was complicit in the attacks of September 11, 2001 have long been controversial in Washington. Fifteen of the 19 al Qaeda terrorists who hijacked four planes were Saudi nationals, but the Saudi government has denied any involvement in the attacks.

The Congressional 9/11 Commission stated in 2004 that it “found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded al-Qaeda.”

Still, victims’ families have pressed for further disclosures, and last year the FBI released a document detailing their work investigating alleged logistical support provided in Los Angeles by a Saudi consular official and a suspected Saudi intelligence agent to at least two hijackers.

“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, representing survivors and family members of the terrorist attacks, said in the letter.

Brett Eagleson is an attorney for the group and his father, John Bruce Eagleson, was among those who died during the World Trade Center attacks. Eagleson told CNN the decision to host the tournament was “ruthless.”

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

“The FBI notes that much information has come to light since the release of the 9/11 Commission report in 2004,” Eagleson writes in the letter, “and repeatedly references the existence of US-based Saudi ‘support networks ‘ for the 9/11 hijacker.”

Families of 9/11 victims speak out against LIV golf tournaments coming to US.

In an email, Eagleson emphasized that the golf course where LIV is set to play “is in the backyard of where 750 New Jersey residents were murdered.”

“The former president rightly speculated in 2016 that Saudi Arabia tore down the towers, and now the FBI has released the documents to prove him right,” Eagleson told CNN, “yet he’s pulling money ahead of America.” So much for America First. A sad day.”

The group is asking that members visit the former president in the coming days to discuss their concerns and urge him to “cease further dealings with the regime involved in the killing of our loved ones,” the letter said .

LIV Golf released a statement Monday in response to the letter.

“As we have said throughout, these families have our deepest sympathy. While some may disagree, we believe golf is a force for good around the world.”

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

Specifically, last year the PGA Tour voted to cancel the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster. The decision came after Trump supporters violently attacked the US Capitol.

What is LIV Golf?

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

In June, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced that all member golfers competing in the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series were suspended and no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournaments.

The US Department of Justice is investigating the PGA Tour over possible antitrust violations related to LIV Golf, the PGA Tour confirmed to CNN last week.

Several top golfers such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka have joined LIV, which is led by former world No. 1 Greg Norman and backed by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia – a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

CNN’s Kevin Dotson contributed to this report.

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