Former President Donald Trump defended internet hosting the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Sequence at his Bedminster, NJ course on Thursday, dismissing criticism from households of 9/11 victims by saying “no one’s gotten to the underside” of the 2001 terrorist assaults.
With households set to protest the occasion on Friday, ESPN pressed the forty fifth president for a response to the controversy.
“Properly, no one’s gotten to the underside of 9/11, sadly, and they need to have as to the maniacs that did that horrible factor to our metropolis, to our nation, to our world,” Trump mentioned. “So no one’s actually been there.”
The previous president then tried to place a optimistic spin on the occasion, saying, “there are a whole lot of actually nice individuals which are out right here as we speak, and we’re gonna have a whole lot of enjoyable.”
“We’re going to have a good time and cash’s going to charity,” Trump went on. “Some huge cash [is] going to charity.”
For a lot of Individuals – notably the relations of 9/11 victims – Saudi Arabia is the nation most straight answerable for the assaults on New York and Washington that killed 3,000 individuals 21 years in the past. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who intentionally crashed planes into the World Commerce Heart, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., have been Saudi nationals — as was Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.
In a letter to the previous president this week, a victims’ households group identified that even Trump himself had as soon as accused the dominion of being behind the atrocity.
“Who blew up the World Commerce Heart?” Trump instructed Fox Information in a 2016 interview. “It wasn’t the Iraqis — it was Saudi. Check out Saudi Arabia. Open the paperwork.”
The households wrote that they “merely can’t perceive” why Trump would settle for cash from LIV Golf to host the event — a call they mentioned had precipitated them “excessive ache, frustration, and anger.”
The Saudi authorities has lengthy denied any involvement within the assaults, and the 2004 9/11 Fee report detailed that Riyadh “labored intently with prime US officers in main initiatives to unravel the Bin Laden drawback with diplomacy.”
Nonetheless, a lawsuit filed on behalf of the households of a whole lot of victims in 2017 revealed that the Saudi authorities may need funded a “dry run” for the aircraft hijackings.
Two years earlier than the assault, the Saudi Embassy paid for 2 Saudi nationals dwelling undercover within the US as college students, to fly from Phoenix to Washington “in a dry run for the 9/11 assaults,” in response to a criticism obtained by The Put up.
The submitting particularly accused Saudi officers of following “a sample of each monetary and operational help.”
Moreover, in September of final yr, the Biden administration declassified a 2016 FBI report tying two Saudi nationals dwelling within the US on the time — one among whom loved diplomatic standing — to the 9/11 hijackers.
LIV Golf is backed by the Saudi Public Funding Fund, which is chaired by the infamous Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Trump’s resolution to host LIV Golf has additionally come underneath fireplace from the Nationwide Press Membership over bin Salman’s connection to the killing of Washington Put up journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi was brutally murdered on the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2019, and the US intelligence neighborhood has since concluded that the crown prince, identified broadly as MBS, ordered the operation.
“We’re revolted by the best way the Saudi-funded LIV enterprise has adopted the fist bump within the desert by shoving themselves onto golf programs and tv screens,” the NPC mentioned Tuesday.
“We name on all Individuals to see this unsavory try to reduce the grisly bone-saw assault on Washington Put up opinion author Jamal Khashoggi for what it’s – an try to brush underneath the rug a brutal state-sponsored homicide. We name on individuals of conscience to reject this event. Don’t attend. Don’t watch it on tv. Let it fail.”