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Yet again, the only thing standing between former President Trump and a public stance is a signature on a check. At a Saudi-backed LIV Golf tournament, held at Trump’s Bedminster golf course Thursday, the former President told reporters that “nobody’s gotten to the bottom of 9/11,” signaling a reversal from Trump’s previous conviction that the Saudi government was responsible for the terrorist attack that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.
"Well, nobody's gotten to the bottom of 9/11, unfortunately, and they should have, as to the maniacs that did that horrible thing …"
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— The Recount (@therecount) July 28, 2022
The cash-rich LIV has been soaked in controversy since its inception, with many raising concerns that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is using the golf circuit as “sports-washing” to rehabilitate its public image. In 2018, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, allegedly under orders from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, prompting international condemnation. Two of LIV’s 14 events are slated to take place at Trump owned properties.
“I think LIV has been a great thing for Saudi Arabia, for the image of Saudi Arabia,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview on Tuesday. When asked by a reporter about the financial gains of hosting the tournaments, Trump deflected that he didn’t “do it for that,” but added: “They’ve been very generous.”
Last week, family members of victims of the 9/11 terror attacks sent Trump a letter expressing their “deep pain and anger” over his decision to “host the Saudi Golf League (‘LIV’) at your Bedminster, New Jersey, property.” The letter reminded the former President of his previous public statements laying blame for 9/11 on the Saudis, including a 2016 interview on Fox News where Trump told host Sean Hannity that, “It was Saudi,” not Iraq, that “blew up the World Trade Center.”
“Take a look at Saudi Arabia. Open the documents,” Trump insisted at the time. “We ought to get Bush or somebody to have the documents opened because frankly if you open the documents, I think you are going to see it was Saudi Arabia.” Of the 19 hijackers who carried out the attacks, 15 were Saudi citizens. “Those people would have not been in the country had my policies been intact,” Trump asserted.
The government of Saudi Arabia has long denied allegations of direct involvement in the planning and execution of 9/11. But the families of victims are seeking conclusive answers. Last year, families filed a lawsuit accusing the Saudi government of being complicit in the attack and seeking the release of documents long held confidential by the U.S. government.
Bob Graham, a former senator from Florida who co-chaired the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, has long alleged official Saudi involvement, including writing in a court affidavit: “I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia.”
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