Trump praises Saudi Arabia’s separate ‘great’ golf tournament LIV – then insists the controversy over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder has ‘completely faded’ and dismisses protests by saying ‘I don’t know much about the 9/11 families’
- Donald Trump sparked controversy with his comments on the LIV Golf series
- The last LIV tournament takes place at Bedminster Stadium this weekend
- Trump says he ‘doesn’t know much about 9/11 families’ amid their protests
- He also said that the controversy over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi ‘completely vanished’.
Donald Trump has given his support to the Saudi Arabia-funded separatist LIV Golf League and insists it is ‘one of the best things to happen in the sport’ despite the backlash from fans.
The 45th president of the United States will be hosting another LIV tournament in Bedminster, NJ this weekend, and he has been – perhaps unsurprisingly – full of praise for the controversial tour.
While many described the LIV as a sporting washing machine for Saudi Arabia, Trump instead believed it was a very positive addition to golf – and quickly shed any controversy over 9/11 and the murder of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Talking to The Wall Street Journal He said this week: “I think LIV was a great thing for Saudi Arabia, for the image of Saudi Arabia.
“I think it would be an incredible investment from this point of view, and that’s more valuable than a lot of other things because you can’t buy that – even in billions of dollars.
Former President Donald Trump won praise for LIV as it heads to Bedminster this week
The third event of the controversial LIV Golf Series will be held at Trump National Golf Club
I think the publicity they got, more than anything else, was a great thing for them.
I think the publicity they got is billions of dollars. It’s one of the most important things to happen in sports, and sports are a huge part of life.
There were protests in preparation for the tournament from survivors and family members of those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks, in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens.
But Trump played down the criticism and insisted he was not aware of any backlash, despite protests and press conferences held near Bedminster.
“I don’t know much about the families of 9/11, and I don’t know what they have to do with this, and their feelings are so strong, I can understand their feelings,” he said. “I can’t really comment on that because I don’t know exactly what they’re saying, what they’re saying who did what.”
The 2018 death of journalist and US citizen Khashoggi has been a huge talking point, with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman allegedly complicit in his murder. LIV Golf is funded by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which is controlled by bin Salman.
Trump says LIV has been ‘fantastic’ for Saudi Arabia’s image, despite many claiming the tournament is sporting laundering and an attempt to distract attention from its human rights record
Phil Mickelson (pictured), Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau have already split
Again, for Trump, this is not a concern.
“I can say that from Khashoggi’s point of view, that has faded a lot,” the former president added. It really seems to have completely vanished. Nobody has asked me this question for months.
Set to be the first for Henrik Stenson since his split from the LIV series, this weekend’s tournament in Bedminster will also feature the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Brooks Koepka.
Trump is himself a big fan of golf, and has been photographed playing on one of his golf courses in Scotland