“All the golfers who remain” loyal “to the very disloyal PGA, in all its various forms, will pay a great price when the inevitable merger with LIV comes, and you get nothing but a big” thank you “from PGA officials who earns millions of dollars a year, “Trump wrote on Truth Social Monday.
“If you do not take the money now, you will not get anything after the merger takes place, and just say how smart the original signatories were.”
His comments come as families of victims of 9/11 urged him to cancel the tournament, citing LIV Golf’s Saudi support, according to a letter sent to Trump on Sunday.
The 9/11 commission set up by Congress said in 2004 that it had found “no evidence that the Saudi government, as an institution or senior Saudi officials, was individually funding” al-Qaeda.
Nevertheless, the families of the victims have pushed for further revelations, and last year the FBI released a document describing their work investigating the alleged logistical support that a Saudi consular official and a suspected Saudi intelligence agent in Los Angeles gave to at least two hijackers.
“The Saudi nation is largely responsible for the deaths of our loved ones and for the horrific attack on America. And you know it,” 9/11 Justice, representing survivors and family members of the terrorist attacks, said in the letter.
Brett Eagleson is a spokesman for the group and his father, John Bruce Eagleson, was among those killed during the World Trade Center attacks. Eagleson told CNN that the decision to host the tournament was “unscrupulous.”
In the letter, he says the decision has caused “deep pain and anger” among voters, given Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in the attacks and material support for al Qaeda, as outlined by FBI reports.
“The FBI notes that much information has come to light since the 9/11 Commission published its report in 2004,” Eagleson writes in the letter, “repeatedly referring to the existence of US-based Saudi ‘support networks’ for 9/11 hijackers.”
In an email, Eagleson stressed that the golf course where LIV is to be played is “in the backyard where 750 New Jersey residents were murdered.”
“The former president rightly speculated in 2016 that Saudi Arabia knocked down the towers and now the FBI has released the documents to prove him right,” Eagleson told CNN, “but he chooses money over America. So much for America First. A sad day. ”
The group is asking for members to visit the former president in the coming days to discuss their concerns and urge him to “close further business with the regime that was complicit in the murder of our loved ones,” according to the letter.
LIV Golf issued a statement in response to the letter on Monday.
“As we have said all along, these families have our deepest sympathy. Although some may disagree, we believe golf is a force for good around the world.”
CNN has contacted representatives of Trump and the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster for comment.
What is LIV Golf?
The tour has held two tournaments so far – in London and near Portland, Oregon. The circuit’s season finale is set for the end of October at the Trump National Doral Miami in Florida.
In June, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced that all member golfers playing in the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series were suspended and would no longer be eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournaments.
The US Department of Justice is investigating the PGA Tour regarding possible antitrust violations involving 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 LIV, which is fronted by former world No. 1 Greg Norman and supported by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – a sovereign wealth fund led by Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
CNN’s Kevin Dotson contributed to this report.