Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hosted a barbecue for families of 9/11 victims on Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, when former President Donald Trump provided the site of a Saudi-funded LIV Golf tournament.
DeSantis, who last week officially entered the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, hosted about 500 veterans, Gold Star families and relatives who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks at the Florida Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee, Florida, the New York Post reported.
Trump National golf course in Northern Virginia hosted the golf tournament.
One attendee at the governor's barbecue told the Post that DeSantis met privately with eight 9/11 families.
"It was just so remarkable and gracious that the governor of Florida invited us to his home," 37-year-old Brett Eagleson, whose father was killed while working in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, told the Post.
"He gave us over an hour of his time and listened to every one of our stories."
Eagleson, president of 9/11 Justice, has fought for more information about Saudi Arabia's alleged role in the attacks. He slammed Trump for hosting a golf tournament financed by the Saudis sovereign wealth fund.
"I just want to juxtapose that against what a former president is doing on this very weekend at a golf course and one of his own golf courses, lining the pockets from a country who stands accused in a trial as we speak … of aiding and abetting and sponsoring the 9/11 terror attacks," he told the Post.
A 9/11 family advocacy group earlier this month sent Trump a letter condemning the three-day golf tournament as "an insult to the memory of those killed in the attacks."
"Your decision to maintain an ongoing business partnership with the Saudi government has been deeply hurtful to the 9/11 community," wrote Terry Strada, national chair of 9/11 Families United.
Strada's husband was killed in the World Trade Center.
Trump last week said he "fully understand[s] and love[s]" the 9/11 families.
"But it's tremendous economic development, tremendous number of jobs, just for an event like this — it's a big event," Trump told reporters at his golf course, located just 29 miles from the Pentagon, where 184 of nearly 3,000 Sept. 11 victims were murdered.
Eagleson joined others in being upset by the former president's comments.
"He's choosing profits, and he's choosing his own interests over the interests of one of America's most victimized groups, and that is the 9/11 community," Eagleson told the Post.
He added that despite Trump's 2019 pledge to support the families, the then-president made it more difficult for them to get answers about the Saudis involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks.
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