Jul 28, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump defends hosting LIV Golf event: "Nobody has gotten to the bottom of 9/11"

Former U.S. President Donald Trump watches a shot during the pro-am prior to the LIV Golf Invitational - Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster
Former President Donald Trump watches a shot at the LIV Golf Invitational. Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/LIV Golf via Getty Images

Former President Trump told ESPN Thursday that "nobody has gotten to the bottom of 9/11" after he was asked about 9/11 survivors and their families who are protesting a Saudi-backed LIV Golf event at one of his golf courses.

Driving the news: "Nobody has gotten to the bottom of 9/11 unfortunately, and they should have," Trump said, calling the people who carried out the terrorist attack "maniacs that did that horrible thing to our city, to our country, to the world."

Flashback: Last year, the FBI released a declassified document from 2016 related to its investigation, which showed Saudi hijackers allegedly received heavy support from Saudi government officials, Axios' Rebecca Falconer writes.

  • Fifteen of the 19 attackers on 9/11 were Saudi nationals. The 9/11 Families United group said in a statement at the time the report implicated "numerous Saudi government officials, in a coordinated effort to mobilize an essential support network for the first arriving 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar."
  • The redacted report did not include any evidence of a direct connection with the ruling royal family, and the Saudi government has denied any wrongdoing.

The big picture: Families of 9/11 victims have criticized the LIV Golf tour and asked Trump to cancel the event, which the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey is hosting.

  • The families also released an ad that criticized Trump for working with the new golf circuit, the Washington Post reports.
  • “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 wrote in a letter to Trump, per the Post.
  • “Were it not for the support that these hijackers received from the Saudi government, then 9/11 would have never happened,” Brett Eagleson, a founder of 9/11 Justice, told The Post.
  • Trump told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that he "can't really comment" on the 9/11 families "because I don’t know exactly what they're saying, and what they're saying who did what."

Go deeper: Trump: LIV Golf worth "billions of dollars" for Saudi Arabia

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