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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

9/11 families launch ad criticizing Trump for hosting Saudi-backed golf tournament

By Eugene Scott Washington Post

Survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and their family members launched an ad Tuesday criticizing former president Donald Trump for hosting a Saudi-backed golf tournament at his New Jersey resort.

In the ad, family members of those who lost their lives in the attack hold up photos of their deceased loved ones while sharing the pain they still endure more than 20 years later.

“How much money to turn your back on your own country?” one woman asks.

“This golf tournament is taking place 50 miles from Ground Zero,” a man says.

“It’s disgusting,” another woman adds.

More than 100 of those affected by the deadly attacks will head to Trump National Golf Club Bedminster next week to protest the LIV golf event. The tour is funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, which is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom U.S. intelligence has deemed responsible for the murder of Washington Post opinion writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Leaders of the group have requested a formal meeting with the former president to discuss his family’s ongoing relationship with the Saudi government, which Trump himself previously blamed for the attacks. Trump began hosting the LIV series after the PGA tour terminated its agreement to play the 2022 championship at Bedminster in the days after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

A spokesperson for the president did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump, however, recently praised Saudi Arabia in the Wall Street Journal for investing in U.S. companies and sports.

“I think LIV has been a great thing for Saudi Arabia, for the image of Saudi Arabia,” he said. “I think it’s going to be an incredible investment from that standpoint, and that’s more valuable than lots of other things because you can’t buy that - even with billions of dollars.”

Brett Eagleson, a founder of 9/11 Justice, a new group of hundreds of family members of victims and survivors of the attack, told The Post that the former president’s comments are “disgraceful” and “egregious.”

The group plans to hold a news conference and rally Friday near the golf club to further publicize the Saudi government’s connection to the terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 people on American soil. Newly declassified documents from the U.S. government’s investigation into the attacks provide more clear evidence of Saudi Arabia’s role in the attack featuring 15 Saudi nationals.

Eagleson said he plans to call out the golfers participating in the event, who include Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, for participating.

“Were it not for the support that these hijackers received from the Saudi government then 9/11 would have never happened,” he told The Post. “We want the golfers to know who they’re doing business with, who they’re getting in bed with, we want to be able to educate them and highlight the new evidence we have about the Saudi role in 9/11.”

“I’m never gonna forget, never gonna forgive the golfers for taking this blood money,” one man said in the ad.