LIV Golf: Donald Trump Urges Golfers to Join Controversial Tour and ‘Claim Money Now’

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

“If you don’t take the money now, you get nothing after the merger happens and only say how smart the original signers were.”

His comments came after families of 9/11 victims called for him to cancel the tournament, citing support for LIV Golf in Saudi Arabia, according to a letter sent to Trump on Sunday.

Saudi government allegations of involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks has long been a point of contention in Washington. Fifteen of the 19 al-Qaeda terrorists who hijacked the four planes were Saudi nationals, but the Saudi government has denied involvement in the attacks.

The 9/11 Commission, set up by Congress, said in 2004 that it had found “no evidence that the Saudi Arabian government as an institution or senior Saudi Arabian officials individually funded” al-Qaeda.

However, the families of the victims pressed for further disclosure, and last year the FBI released a document detailing their work to investigate alleged logistical support that a Saudi consular officer and a suspected Saudi intelligence agent in Los Angeles provided at least two hijackers.

“The people of Saudi Arabia bear a great responsibility for the death of our loved ones and for the horrific attack on America. And you know it,” reads the letter from Justice 9/11, which represents the survivors and their families of the attacks.

Brett Eagleson is the group’s protector, and his father, John Bruce Eagleson, was among those killed in the World Trade Center attacks. Eagleson told CNN that the decision to host the tournament is “shameless”.

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

“The FBI notes that a lot of information has come to light since the 9/11 Commission released its report in 2004,” Eagleson writes in the letter, “and repeatedly refers to the existence of U.S.-based Saudi “support networks” for the 9/11 attacks. . 11 hijackers.

Families of 9/11 victims oppose LIV Golf tournaments in the US.

In an email, Eagleson stressed that the golf course LIV is supposed to play on is “in the backyard where 750 New Jerseyers were killed.”

“The former president correctly assumed in 2016 that Saudi Arabia destroyed the towers, and now the FBI has released documents proving he was right,” Eagleson told CNN, “but he prefers money to America. That’s America first for you. day. ”

The group is asking its members to visit the former president in the coming days to discuss their concerns and urge him to “stop doing further business with a regime that has been complicit in the killing of our loved ones,” the letter says.

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

“As we have said, these families evoke our deepest sympathy. While some may disagree, we believe golf is a force for good around 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 contract to play in the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster. The decision came after a brutal attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters.

What is LIV Golf?

As part of the tour, two tournaments have so far taken place – in London and near Portland, Oregon. The season-ending event is scheduled for late October at Trump National Doral Miami in Florida.

In June, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced that all golfers playing in the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series had been suspended and would no longer be eligible to compete in PGA Tour tournaments.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the PGA Tour over possible antitrust violations involving the 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 the LIV, which is led by the former world number one. 1 Greg Norman and supported by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

Kevin Dotson of CNN contributed to this report.