A close friend of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is helping the PGA Tour in its fight against Saudi-backed LIV Golf, Axios reported.
Former President Donald Trump has expressed support for LIV Golf, which hosted multiple events at golf courses owned by Trump during its inaugural season in 2022.
McCarthy, who's aiming to win the speakership in the new Congress, has enjoyed a relatively good relationship with Trump.
Jeff Miller, principal of lobbying firm Miller Strategies and a close McCarthy ally, was hired by the PGA Tour to promote the organization and its interests in Washington, including "shining a light on the competition," a source told Axios.
The media outlet said Miller's job could entail "amplifying criticism" among lawmakers, the media, and the public over LIV's ties to the Saudi government.
"This is a sports fight that is really a political one, and Jeff's hiring is a very important weapon in the fight," the Axios source said.
Miller, as well as a PGA Tour spokesperson, declined to comment to Axios.
Before the midterms, Politico said Miller could become "most powerful unelected man in D.C.," if McCarthy becomes speaker.
Former Bush White House spokesman Ari Fleischer and Ben Quayle, a former Republican congressman from Arizona and son of a former U.S. vice president, are among political people who's been hired by LIV Golf.
Several of the PGA Tour's most prominent golfers — including Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson — bolted the circuit for big money to join LIV, which has drawn intense scrutiny over its backing from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund.
Critics say the Saudis' "sportswashing" operation is designed to boost the kingdom's image amid human rights scandals, including the 2018 execution of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
LIV Golf's tumultuous first season concluded in late-October at Trump National Doral Golf Club where the eye-popping prize money and the former president were the main attractions.
LIV Golf will grow from eight to 14 events next season with Trump resorts, which hosted two of the eight stops this year, once again expected to figure prominently.
Both golf organizations have caused issues within the government.
One prominent Republican, Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, has called for a federal investigation into LIV Golf. The PGA Tour is the subject of a Justice Department antitrust probe.
Reuters contributed to this story.
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