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Trump golf course in New York to host Saudi-backed tournament

Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx, a course managed by the Trump Organization, will be the site of a Saudi-funded women's golf tournament in October. (John Minchillo/AP)

A women’s golf tournament backed by the government of Saudi Arabia is scheduled for October at a New York course managed by former president Donald Trump’s company, city officials confirmed Friday.

The Aramco Team Series is funded by the Saudi government, which has been accused of using its wealth in a campaign to refresh the country’s image on the global stage. A LIV Golf tournament, also Saudi-funded, was held in July at a New Jersey golf course owned and managed by Trump. That event took place despite public criticism that he was doing business with a government that Trump himself once said was linked to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and also a government that intelligence officials say was behind the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing columnist.

The Aramco Team Series, first reported by the New York Times on Friday, is expected to tee off at the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx, from Oct. 13 to 15, according to the tournament’s website.

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In statements to The Washington Post on Friday, New York City officials said they disagreed with the decision by the Trump Organization to host the event but are contractually powerless to prevent it.

Fabien Levy, press secretary for Mayor Eric Adams (D), said in a statement, “While we disagree with the values of the Trump Organization, we cannot legally block their application.”

A spokesman for the New York City Law Department, Nicholas Paolucci, agreed, saying in a statement: “The city is obligated to follow the terms of the Trump Ferry license agreement and cannot unreasonably withhold approval of this tournament.”

Michael Cardozo, formerly the top lawyer for the city, added that “given the express terms” of New York’s contract with Trump, the city cannot block the former president from hosting the event.

In July, families of people killed on Sept. 11, 2001, urged Trump not to host the LIV Golf tournament. A group representing those families, 9/11 Justice, wrote a letter to Trump asking him to cancel the New Jersey event, and noted that he told Fox News in February 2016: “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis. It was Saudi. Take a look at Saudi Arabia.”

Trump brushed aside their request and held the event, later telling ESPN, “Nobody’s gotten to the bottom of 9/11, unfortunately” and, referring to the tournament: The “money’s going to charity.”

Brett Eagleson, president of 9/11 Justice, said in a brief interview that his organization will call on the city’s mayor to abstain from going to Ground Zero on 9/11 or attend any related event unless his office changes their decision to allow the event to take place. If the city cannot prevent the tournament from taking place, Eagleson said, “then they need to do more to support 9/11 families,” including speaking out against the tournament.

“I don’t think it’s enough for them to say, ‘Well, there’s nothing we can do,’ ” Eagleson said.

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