The former president was asked about the families of the terror attack victims planning to protest the event in Bedminster because of the link to the Middle East country, and replied, “Nobody’s gotten to the bottom of 9/11, unfortunately”.
He went on to describe the terrorists behind 9/11 as “maniacs” and called the 2001 attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people a “horrible thing to our city, to our country, to the world”.
“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. Money’s going to charity—a lot of money’s going to charity,” he added.
The attacks claimed their victims at the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington DC, and in an open field in Pennsylvania.
Fifteen of the 9/11 attackers were Saudi citizens, and al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden was born in the country.
The 9/11 Commission Report in 2004 was not able to find conclusive links between the Saudis and the hijackers.
But last September the Biden administration declassified a 16-page FBI report linking 9/11 hijackers to two Saudi nationals living in the US.
The Saudi Arabian government has always strongly denied any connection to the 9/11 attacks.
Mr Trump took part in the pro-amateur event at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster ahead of the tournament teeing off on Friday.
Terry Strada, the chair of the organisation 9/11 Families United, told ABC News has heavily criticised the new tour.
“We’re very disappointed in the players. We’ve tried to point out to them, I wrote them a letter when this all began,” she said.
And she added: “We are in the courtrooms with a lawsuit against the kingdom. The kingdom actually provided the support network that was needed for the first arriving hijackers and most likely all of them to set up what they needed to plan, practice and carry out the attacks.”
LIV Golf offers a $25m purse with a $4m winner’s prize and $5m for the winning team at each event. Critics have accused the tournament of “sports washing” the Saudia Arabian government’s international reputation.
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