Sportscaster Bob Costas blasted Donald Trump on July 28, during an appearance on CNN, over his decision to take part in the Saudi-backed LIV golf tour despite the disapproval from the families of 9/11 victims.
The former President has been criticized for his decision to host controversial Saudi circuit’s LIV Golf Invitational at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey. Trump will also partake in a pro-am event before the initiation of the actual tournament.
“Some 700 plus of the victims on 9/11, 21 years ago, were from New Jersey, some of them from the Bedminster area, so the 9/11 families are very hurt about this, very upset, there will be protests outside the grounds,” Costas said.
“But if we learned anything about Donald Trump, which it shouldn’t have taken very long to learn, it is that he doesn’t care about any principle, including American democracy, or any person. He cares about nothing other than his own perceived self-interests,” he added.
LIV Golf, a circuit bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, has been called out as ‘sportswashing’ the country’s poor human rights record by critics, including the includes the 2018 assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
The families of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks described Trump’s participation as “appalling.” The 9/11 attack consisted of 15 Saudi Arabia hijackers out of 19, and the FBI has examined links between Saudi Arabia’s government and the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Costa mentioned that Trump’s contribution has an “aspect of grievance and revenge” because the PGA Tour, a vicious antagonist of LIV Golf, denied a tournament that was meant to take place at Trump’s Bedminster venue following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“He was upset because the PGA pulled out following Jan. 6 the last year, following those events, they pulled the PGA tournament from the Bedminster course,” Costas said. “So this is an element of grievance on his part because, as we all know, he is, after all, ‘the most persecuted man in American history’ and he’s qualified to say that because he’s a scholar of history.”
While Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he felt the noise regarding Khashoggi’s death has “totally died down.”
Trump’s statement pulled a response from Costas.
“What can you possibly say? People who want to believe what they want to believe will accept that. People who live in this reality will not,” Costas said.