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9/11 victims' families criticize Trump for hosting Saudi-backed LIV Golf tournament

Mickelson on criticism from 9/11 families
Phil Mickelson responds to criticism from families of 9/11 victims 00:27

Washington — Survivors and family members who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks criticized former President Donald Trump for hosting the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series for a tournament at his Bedminster, New Jersey, club later this month and urged him stop doing business with the Saudi kingdom. 

In a letter to Trump sent on Sunday, the relatives, who are members of the organization 9/11 Justice, said the former president's decision to host the LIV Golf Invitational at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster brought them "deep pain and anger" given Saudi Arabia's role in the 2001 attacks that killed their family members.

Citing comments Trump made during an appearance on Fox News in 2016, and his promise to 9/11 families at a Sept. 11, 2019, meeting at the White House to declassify FBI documents related to the attacks, the signees wrote they "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."

"It is incomprehensible to us, Mr. Trump, that a former president of the United States would cast our loved ones aside for personal financial gain," they said.

The 9/11 Justice members asked to meet with the former president and pushed him to reconsider his business relationship with LIV Golf. Some of families and survivors of the 9/11 terror attacks are suing Saudi Arabia and pushing to know if the Saudi government provided aid to the hijackers. 

The tournament at Trump's Bedminster golf club is scheduled to take place July 29 to July 31, and his company promoted the event on Twitter on Monday. The LIV Golf series will close its season with a team championship at the former president's Miami course, Trump National Doral Golf Club, in late October. 

Jane MacNeille, the league's vice president of communications, told CBS News in an email that "these families have our deepest sympathy. While some may not agree, we believe golf is a force for good around the world."

In addition to condemning the former president over his ties to the LIV Golf series, they protested a June invitational outside Portland, Oregon, which was the tour's first tournament in the U.S. 

Financed by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund and led by retired professional golfer Greg Norman, LIV Golf has been at the center of controversy as it seeks to position itself as an alternative to the PGA tour.

The new series has attracted several well-known players, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, with its multi-million-dollar contracts and tournament purses.

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