BEDMINSTER — After weeks of outcry, a small crowd gathered outside former President Donald Trump's ritzy Somerset County golf course on Friday for the start of a weekend tournament that's drawn criticism.
Families and survivors of the 9/11 terror attacks held a news conference at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster to draw attention to Saudi Arabia aiding the terrorists.
The Middle Eastern nation is backing the LIV golf tour at the course, which was a frequent getaway home for Trump while he was president.
Less than a dozen people appeared at the demonstration at one point Friday.
Trump has dismissed the families' criticism. He played a round of golf at his course on Thursday.
Trump felt slighted when a World Golf Championship left his Trump National Doral course near Miami after 2016 when a replacement title sponsor could not be found.
Backed by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, LIV Golf has been awarding massive money — various reports put total signing fees at around $1 billion so far. The PGA Tour has suspended players who join for violating regulations that require a release to play overseas. It does not grant releases for tournaments held in North America.
The prize money at LIV Golf events totals $25 million, with the winner getting $4 million. Last place in the 54-hole events with no cut is guaranteed $120,000.
“Now they have an alternative and nobody would have ever known there was going to be a gold rush like this,” Trump said.
Trump and his senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, cultivated very close relationships with the Saudi crown prince while Trump was in office.
And the administration’s response to human rights concerns was criticized by many as not being strong enough, particularly after the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and repeated concerns expressed about civilian deaths in the Saudi-led war in Yemen against Iran-backed rebels.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
What would happen to NJ if we were attacked by nuclear weapons?
We used NUKEMAP by Alex Wellerstein to see what would happen if a nuclear warhead hit New York, Philadelphia, Washington or New Jersey.
The models show what would happen in aerial detonation, meaning the bomb would be set off in the sky, causing considerable damage to structures and people below; or what would happen in a ground detonation, which would have the alarming result of nuclear fallout. The models do not take into account the number of casualties that would result from fallout.