9/11 Families Call on Trump to Cancel Saudi-Backed Golf Event

Outside the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ, on Dec. 21, 2019. (Laura Moss/The New York Times)

Outside the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ, on Dec. 21, 2019. (Laura Moss/The New York Times)

Family members of those killed on Sept. 11, 2001, are urging former President Donald Trump to cancel a Saudi-backed golf tournament due to take place this month at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey.

In a letter dated Sunday, members of the group 9/11 Justice called for a meeting with Trump and urged him not to host the event, scheduled for July 29-31, saying Trump blamed Saudi Arabia for the attack.

“We simply cannot understand how you can accept money from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia golf league to host your tournament on your golf course, and do it in the shadow of ground zero in New Jersey, which lost more than 700 residents during the attacks,” they wrote in the letter.

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“It is incomprehensible to us that a former President of the United States would put aside our loved ones for personal financial gain,” they wrote to Trump, who is expected to run for president again in 2024. “We hope you will reconsider your business . he relationship with the Saudi golf league and will agree to meet with us.”

In the letter, the group noted that Trump told Fox News in February 2016: “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis. he was saudi Take a look at Saudi Arabia.” He went on to say, “The people came, most of the people came from Saudi Arabia. They didn’t come from Iraq.”

On Sunday night, Brett Eagleson, president of 9/11 Justice, said he emailed the letter to a Trump aide in the afternoon and had not received a response.

Eagleson, who was 15 when his father died on 9/11, said the stakes here were clear. He is “letting the Saudis literally get away with this if this golf tournament is allowed to continue,” he said in an interview.

“It just sends a message that with the right amount of money, you can make people forget about anything,” he said, adding: “If anyone knows the extent of the Saudi role in 9/11, it’s Trump.”

Messages left at Trump’s club in Bedminster, and with a Trump spokesman, also were not immediately returned.

The Saudi-sponsored golf league is part of a campaign by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to renew the kingdom’s image in the eyes of the world.

The man who defeated Trump in 2020, President Joe Biden, recently faced criticism for his own connection to Saudi Arabia. Last week, during a trip to the Middle East, Biden punched Crown Prince Mohammed, whom the CIA held responsible for the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Biden said he confronted Crown Prince Mohammed about the murder during a closed-door meeting with him; Saudi officials contradicted her version.

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