‘Disrespect’: Thriller about Donald Trump’s Saudi Golf Championship

‘Disrespect’, ‘Painful’: For Brett Eggelson, holding, a few kilometers from where terrorists killed his father on September 11, 2001, a golf tournament financially backed by Saudi Arabia at the private club of former President Donald Trump. , insult.

“It’s very disrespectful, it hurts and it hurts,” Eagleson, who came to demonstrate on Friday with other relatives of the victims and survivors of the World Trade Center attacks outside the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, told AFP. It hosts a competition on the splinter LIV golf course for three days.

Brett Eggelson, who was 15 when his father died in the rubble of the Twin Towers on 9/11, is the head of an association for victims’ families, called 9/11 Justice, which views Saudi Arabia as complicit in the attacks.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, as well as al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who orchestrated the attacks. An FBI memo issued last year also indicated possible Saudi government involvement, although Riyadh categorically denies the accusations.

Another LIV event will be held at Donald Trump’s Club – in Doral, Florida, October 27-30 – where the former president himself believed during the 2016 presidential campaign, without evidence, that Saudi Arabia was partly responsible for the attacks.

Now he is “making a decision to welcome the kingdom into his own land, a stone’s throw from where he killed 750 people,” Eagleson said, referring to the number of New Jersey residents who died in the 9/11 attacks.

“It’s totally infuriating,” he continues.

Partially funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund and headed by former World No. 1 Greg Norman, LIV Golf Course is trying to attract the big names in golf with exciting contracts that can run into several hundreds of millions of dollars.

Several rights groups have criticized the new department, which they say exists only to restore Saudi Arabia’s international image, a maneuver known as “sports washing”.

Donald Trump, an avid golfer, proved a staunch supporter of LIV, urged players to “take the money,” and signed off with the tour.

The Republican himself played Thursday in Bedminster in a mixed pro-amateur style, along with two champions recruited by Liv, Bryson Deschamps and Dustin Johnson.

Money before morals

For Brett Eggelson, Donald Trump’s commitment to the LIV will cost him politically, as the 76-year-old billionaire flirts with the idea of ​​running again in 2024.

“Some of the biggest 9/11 activists came from the families of firefighters and police officers in New York,” the 36-year-old said. “They were big Trump supporters. Well, that’s over.”

A member of the 9/11 Justice Society demonstrates in front of the Donald Trump Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on July 29, 2022 (AFP – Timothy A. Clary)

The LIV tournament organizers have already offered their “sincere condolences” to the families of the 9/11 victims.

But for Tim Frolich, survivor of the attacks, the tournament reopened old wounds.

“I had a hard time sleeping last night because of the anger,” the 50-year-old told AFP as relatives waved pictures of the victims in “never forget” T-shirts.

Bruce, Eggelson’s father, was at a meeting on the 17th floor of the South Tower when terrorists crashed Flight 175 into the skyscraper. He was 53 years old.

Bruce Eagleson was a huge fan of golf and his favorite player, Phil Mickelson, was among the first career stars to agree to join the LIV Tour.

Brett Eggelson criticizes: “I don’t know how he managed to look in the mirror.” “He literally chose to put money above all moral sense.”

More protests are planned for upcoming LIV Circuit events in Boston, Chicago and Miami.

“We’re here to stay,” warns Mr. Eggelson.

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