Former US President Donald Trump has defended his decision to host a Saudi-sponsored golf event at his course in New Jersey. With protesters blaming Saudi Arabia for the 9/11 terror attacks, Trump argued that “nobody’s gotten to the bottom” of the tragedy.
A group representing families of 9/11 victims has condemned Trump for hosting the event at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, picketing the course and urging the former president to cancel the event in a letter sent to Trump last week.
“We simply cannot understand how you could agree to accept money from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s golf league to host their tournament at your golf course, and to do so in the shadows of Ground Zero,” the letter read.
Asked about the protests on Thursday, Trump told ESPN that “nobody’s gotten to the bottom of 9/11, unfortunately, and they should have,” referring to the hijackers who killed nearly 3,000 people in the 2001 attacks as “maniacs.”
The involvement of the Saudi Arabian government in the strikes is widely suspected. Of the 19 hijackers, 15 were from Saudi Arabia, as was Osama bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda and mastermind of the attacks. While the 9/11 Commission found “no evidence” that Riyadh funded or organized the attacks, it did identify Saudi Arabia as funding al-Qaeda.
Some 28 pages from this report, all concerning Saudi Arabia, remain classified.