Turnout wasn’t overwhelming as a LIV Golf event got underway this week at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.
LIV Golf is funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, a controversial, Saudi government-owned fund. Trump personally promoted the Bedminster event, including on his Truth Social account: “Just arrived in Bedminster for the big LIV Tour Golf Tournament. Record money to winners, great excitement. Come on out on Friday, Saturday or Sunday to watch the great play by the best players!” he said this past Wednesday. Yet, The Wall Street Journal reported in a pretty clear indication of relatively low public interest that tickets were available for Saturday’s portion of Bedminster’s LIV event for as low as $1, and the day before, crowds were thin in key areas of the premises.
“While certain areas were crowded on Friday, other holes—even ones with marquee players such as Mr. DeChambeau—had just a smattering of fans as the day progressed,” the Journal reported, referring to Bryson DeChambeau. “The “fan village” with food trucks and various activities, wasn’t exactly packed either. There wasn’t a line at the bar there midway through the afternoon.” In other words, it sounds as though Trump essentially sold himself out to Saudi leadership — again — for a poorly attended event.
Families of victims of September 11 evidently turned out near the event at Trump’s Bedminster golf course to express their opposition to what was transpiring, and opposition doesn’t end there. It’s Saudi leadership that was behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and officials in the country consistently perpetrate additional human rights abuses. Per the Journal, Trump — within days of the Bedminster event starting — essentially downplayed concerns about Khashoggi’s death. In any logical scenario, it wouldn’t be so difficult to get opposition to the murder of a U.S. resident and journalist from a former (and potential future) president. Trump, of course, never seemed concerned to an appropriately serious degree with Khashoggi’s death when still in office either. The same course hosting the LIV event in New Jersey this weekend was originally slated for the PGA Championship, before that golf org moved to cancel its championship plans after the Capitol riot.
Later this year, a Trump golf property in southern Florida called Trump Doral will be hosting another LIV Golf event. Trump was asked while at Bedminster this week about how much he’s getting paid for his involvement with LIV Golf, but he didn’t specifically answer. He called the pay-outs he’s receiving “very generous,” but he insisted he doesn’t “do it for that.” In reality, in the first half of this year a key joint fundraising committee associated with the ex-president saw its fundraising slip under $50 million in a six-month period for the first time since Donald left office. Trump has a PAC where he’s got relatively broad leeway with how he can spend the funds — so fundraising falling has direct impacts on Trump’s personal finances.