Ron Johnson Tries To Sound Smart During Tuesday Senate Hearing & Utterly Fails

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During a Tuesday hearing in the Senate, members of the chamber’s Homeland Security Committee sought to examine recently unveiled plans for a merger of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf — the latter of which is financially supported by a government fund in Saudi Arabia, meaning it traces back to the same authorities who have been widely connected to (among other abuses of human rights) the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump has become a prominent supporter of LIV Golf, promoting its public image and hosting events associated with the new league at properties in his portfolio — in connection to which his company has seemingly raked in millions of dollars in Saudi cash. The financial inflows mirror the much larger amounts provided from evidently the same source to an investment operation founded by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner after the latter left government service, all of which sets up potentially massive conflicts of interest.

There has been concern about Saudi financing suddenly becoming entwined with the PGA Tour because of the political associations and possible implication of a foreign power using sway to burnish its brand and spread its aims… but Ron Johnson was dismissive. In opening statements at this week’s Senate hearing, the Wisconsin Republican sounded largely unconcerned with the prospective merger of the PGA Tour with LIV, making suggestions about progress that could be seen with the developments that sounded like an extreme stretch, to say the least. He provided some caveats, including in expressing outrage at the cagey handling of info related to 9/11. But he was consistent.

“Foreign investment in the U.S. is generally a good thing,” Johnson argued. “And I’d rather have the Saudis reinvest their oil wealth in America as opposed to China or Russia. Also, if the kingdom’s involvement in golf and other sports helps it to modernize and offer more rights to women, wouldn’t that be a good thing?.. The parties are in the midst of what should be a private negotiation, and there is no deal to review… There is nothing wrong with the PGA Tour negotiating its survival.”

Check out the hearing below: