Donald Trump was spotted at a party sponsored by LIV Golf in New York City on Wednesday night ahead of the league tournament at his New Jersey golf course which kicks off Thursday.
The former president – dressed in a suit and shirt without his signature red tie – was seen in the crowd at Gotham Hall in Midtown watching rapper Nelly perform, shaking hands with Caitlyn Jenner and smiling alongside his wife Melania Trump.
Trump joined in the festivities despite his scheduled round of golf Thursday with pro golfers Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson in the pro-am ahead of the first round of this week’s LIV Golf Invitational at his Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey .
Johnson and his wife Paulina Gretsky, as well as LIV Golf Investments CEO Greg Norman, a retired professional golfer nicknamed “The Shark”, also made appearances at Wednesday night’s shindig.
LIV Golf has been embroiled in controversy for his involvement with the Saudi government amid reports of human rights abuses in the country. The company that organizes the tour – which entered the world of professional golf as an alternative to the US-based PGA Tour – is financed by Saudi Arabia’s state investment funds.
Critics have accused Saudi Arabia of “sportswashing” its human rights atrocities through its involvement with LIV Golf and other sports.
Families of 9/11 victims have also criticized the circuit, especially as the tournament will be held less than 80km from where the Twin Towers once stood.
Fifteen of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, and the FBI last year released hundreds of pages of newly declassified documents exploring the link between the Saudi government and the terror attacks.
Nonetheless, Trump has dismissed human rights concerns over Saudi Arabia in recent days while lambasting the PGA Tour for suspending players who compete at LIV Golf from playing at its tournament.
“All of those golfers who remain ‘loyal’ to the highly disloyal PGA, in all of its various guises, will pay a heavy price when the inevitable MERGER with LIV arrives,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social social media platform.
The winner of the LIV Golf Invitational Series this week will receive $4 million of a $25 million purse.
With post wires
New York Post