(The Hill) – Former President Donald Trump defended the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tournament planned for his National Golf Club Bedminster against calls from families of 9/11 terror attack victims to back out.
“Nobody’s gotten to the bottom of 9/11, unfortunately,” Trump told ESPN Thursday.
“They should have, as to the maniacs that did that horrible thing, to our city, to our country, to the world. So nobody’s really been there. But I can tell you that there are a lot of really great people that are out here today. And we’re gonna have a lot of fun and we’re going to celebrate.”
Families of victims who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks condemned Trump for hosting the tournament, slated for July 29-31 at Trump’s club in New Jersey, due to Saudi ties to the tragedy. The tournament will take place about an hour’s drive from Ground Zero.
“The evidence, Mr. Trump, is more clear than ever. The Saudi nation is largely responsible for the death of our loved ones and for this horrific attack on America. And you know it,” the grassroots group 9/11 Justice wrote in a letter to Trump earlier this month.
The families implored the former president to “cease further business with the regime that was complicit in the murder of our loved ones.”
9/11 Justice also accused golfers of taking “blood money” by participating.
But Trump called the tournament a “great thing” for Saudi Arabia.
He said on ESPN Thursday that “I’ve known these people for a long time, in Saudi Arabia, and they’ve been friends of mine for a long time. They’ve invested in many American companies… and frankly, what they’re doing for golf is so great.”