Even as President Joe Biden was returning from Saudi Arabia after begging for the release of more oil, relatives of people killed on Sept. 11, 2001, are slamming former President Donald J. Trump for holding Saudi-backed golf tournaments at his golf courses in the United States.
The family members, part of a group called 9/11 Justice, penned a letter to Trump dated Sunday asking for a meeting. They urged him not to hold the event this month at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey and another in October at Trump National Doral Miami, noting that he has in the past blamed Saudi Arabia for the terrorist attack that left nearly 3,000 people dead.
“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,” 9/11 Justice wrote in the letter.
“It is incomprehensible to us that a former president of the United States would cast our loved ones aside for personal financial gain. We hope you will reconsider your business relationship with the Saudi golf league and will agree to meet with us,” the group wrote.
The group also wrote that back in February 2016, Trump declared: “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis. It was Saudi. Take a look at Saudi Arabia.” He later said, “The people came, most of the people came from Saudi Arabia. They didn’t come from Iraq,” 9/11 Justice noted.
Brett Eagleson, the president of 9/11 Justice whose father died in the attacks when he was 15 years old, told The New York Times that he emailed the letter to a Trump aide. He said Trump holding the events at his courses is “allowing the Saudis to literally get away with murder if this golf tournament is allowed to proceed.”
“It just sends a message that with the right amount of money, you can make people forget about anything,” he told The Times, adding, “If anyone knows the extent of the Saudi role in 9/11, it’s Trump.”
In a somewhat ironic twist, Biden was just returning from Saudi Arabia when the group sent its email to Trump. During a Middle East trip that included a stop in Israel, Biden drew criticism after he fist-bumped Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who allegedly was behind the 2018 killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.