Donald Trump was spotted at a party sponsored by LIV Golf in New York on Wednesday night ahead of the league’s tournament at his New Jersey golf course, which begins on Thursday.
The former president — wearing a suit and shirt with no red tie — was spotted in the crowd at Midtown’s Gotham Hall, watching rapper Nelly perform, shaking hands with Caitlyn Jenner and smiling alongside his wife Melania Trump.
Trump joined the festivities despite having a round of golf scheduled for Thursday with pro golfers Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson in the pro-am ahead of this week’s first round of the LIV Golf Invitational at 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 golfer nicknamed “The Shark,” made appearances at Wednesday night’s shindig.
LIV Golf has been embroiled in controversy for its involvement with the government of Saudi Arabia amid reports of human rights abuses in the country. The company that runs the tour – which entered the world of professional golf as an alternative to the US PGA Tour – is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Funds.
Critics have accused Saudi Arabia of “sport washing” its human rights atrocities through its involvement in LIV Golf and other sports.
Families of 9/11 victims hit the circuit, especially since the tournament will be held less than 50 miles 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 terrorist attacks.
However, Trump has dismissed human rights concerns about Saudi Arabia in recent days as he blasted the PGA Tour, which has suspended players who compete at LIV Golf from playing on its tour.
“All those golfers who remain ‘loyal’ to the very disloyal PGA in all its various forms will pay a heavy price when the inevitable LIV RUN comes,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social social media platform.
The winner of this week’s LIV Golf Invitational Series will receive $4 million of a $25 million purse.
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