The Washington Post

LIV Golf and Trump join forces this week

Saudi-funded circuit faces more scrutiny as New Jersey event nears

- BY JOSH DAWSEY AND RICK MAESE

Former president Donald Trump joins hands this week with the biggest controvers­y in sports when his New Jersey golf club hosts the latest event in the Saudifunde­d LIV Golf series, further cementing his relationsh­ip with Saudi Arabia while angering families of 9/11 victims who have decried the start-up venture as “sportswash­ing.”

While the renegade golf circuit has staged two other events, including another in the United States, this week’s event at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N. J., promises to be an even more glaring flash point, given its proximity to Manhattan and the

involvemen­t of the ex-president.

In recent days, Trump has publicly and privately dismissed human rights concerns about the Saudi kingdom and railed against the profession­al golf establishm­ent. He is expected to attend every day of this weekend’s event and has been in contact for months with organizers on event details, according to an adviser, who said Trump remains livid with PGA of America officials who moved the 2022 PGA Championsh­ip from his Bedminster club following the Jan. 6 insurrecti­on. Doral, his club outside Miami, will host another LIV Golf event in October. Trump and his spokespers­on didn’t respond to requests to comment.

Financed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, the LIV Golf venture has landed high-profile players with exorbitant guaranteed paychecks and lavish perks. But while the players have pocketed big money — some signing bonuses reportedly have amounted to eight- and nine-figure paydays — they also have faced stiff questionin­g about allegation­s against their benefactor­s, which include the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributi­ng columnist.

Some 9/11 families protested at the LIV event this month at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club outside Portland, Ore., and last week members of the 9/11 Justice group sent Trump a letter urging him to cancel this week’s event and requesting a meeting with the former president. Brett Eagleson, whose father died in the 9/11 attacks, said a Trump aide reached out to him Saturday to discuss the letter.

“It was a frustratin­g and frivolous call and made me more angry,” Eagleson said. “I wish they’d never even called.”

According to Eagleson, the aide said that the LIV contract was binding “and there’s no way out” and that Trump was “grateful and thankful for the letter” from the 9/11 families.

“My response was: You have to appreciate that what you’re saying, the words are ringing hollow,” Eagleson said. “If it’s so important, why is he having you call me? Why isn’t he calling me himself ?”

Trump repeatedly defended Saudi Arabia while he was president. He made his first foreign trip to the country, over the concerns of some advisers. Since leaving office, son-in-law Jared Kushner has attracted large investment­s from the country’s sovereign fund, according to multiple reports.

In an interview this week with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said: “I don’t know much about the 9/11 families. I don’t know what is the relationsh­ip to this, and their very strong feelings, and I can understand their feelings. I can’t really comment on that because I don’t know exactly what they’re saying, and what they’re saying who did what.”

Trump met with a group of 9/11 family members in the Oval Office in 2019, according to two people in attendance, and promised to declassify and release records related to the attack. More than a dozen family members were in the meeting, and some left in tears after years of trying to access records about the Saudi Arabia government, they said.

“We all left overjoyed. We were crying; families were hugging each other,” Eagleson said. “He told us all: ‘ We’re going to help you. Don’t worry about it. It’s already been done.’ ”

But soon, William P. Barr, Trump’s attorney general, classified the documents as top secret, and the White House made no effort to follow-up with the families, according to two people present at the meeting.

“Trump was a disappoint­ment as a sitting president, and he’s a bigger disappoint­ment now as a former president,” said Terry Strada, national chair of 9/11 Families United, whose husband, Tom, worked in the North Tower during the attacks. “He knows more than anybody the level of depravity of the kingdom, and he knows — he’s a New Yorker — he knows how families were affected by the attacks. Seven hundred and fifty people were lost in New Jersey. It’s right in our backyard and just, what, six weeks before the anniversar­y? It’s just beyond insulting.”

LIV Golf has been throwing unheard-of amounts of money at golfers, course operators and even broadcaste­rs. It has created a sharp divide in the sport; the PGA Tour has suspended defectors, and others opted to resign their membership from golf ’s top tour.

Trump has long been passionate about the sport and has counted many of the world’s best golfers as friends. But he has struggled in recent years to gain formal entrance to the world of profession­al golf; many stakeholde­rs, especially in recent years, have steered clear of his properties and at times butted heads with Trump himself.

The PGA Tour hasn’t held a tournament at a Trump course since 2016. Doral hosted a PGA event for more than a half-century in South Florida. After purchasing the resort out of bankruptcy in 2012, Trump renamed it Trump National Doral. But after losing Cadillac as a title sponsor, the PGA moved the event to Mexico City in 2016. In response, Trump, the presumptiv­e Republican nominee at the time, told Fox News host Sean Hannity, “I hope they have kidnapping insurance.”

Following the Jan. 6 insurrecti­on, the PGA of America terminated its agreement to stage its 2022 PGA Championsh­ip at the Bedminster course. The R&A said Trump’s Turnberry club in Scotland wouldn’t be considered as a site for the British Open for the “foreseeabl­e future.”

That left Trump with few options to host a tournament with any level of prestige. The Trump Golf portfolio includes 19 properties around the world — but no major tournament­s in sight. LIV was the only imminent option, creating a marriage of two controvers­ial entities that have tried to elbow their way to mainstream acceptance.

Because LIV’S finances are not public, it is not known how much Trump stands to make hosting the LIV events, but several industry experts estimated multimilli­ons.

The Bedminster event is likely to see protesters this week — family members of 9/11 victims held a news conference Tuesday and have another scheduled for Friday — and has been swathed in controvers­y from Day 1. The sport has been thrust into a state of chaos, if not full-blown crisis. The tour has lost several stars — Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson Dechambeau among them — and can’t match the deep pockets of the Saudi-backed group. This weekend’s winner at Bedminster will pocket $4 million, the last-place golfer will take home $120,000, and no golfer will be cut for high scores. By comparison, the winner of last weekend’s PGA Tour event, the 3M Open, took home $1.35 million, and just 11 golfers in the 153-man field earned more than $105,000.

In a statement about LIV last week, Trump made no mention of the Saudi support or controvers­y surroundin­g the event. For him, it’s a matter of money.

“All of those golfers that remain ‘ loyal’ to the very disloyal PGA, in all of its different forms, will pay a big price when the inevitable MERGER with LIV comes, and you get nothing but a big ‘ thank you’ from PGA officials who are making Millions of Dollars a year,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

Multiple high-ranking executives in golf said while Trump stands to make a lot of money off the event and his course will receive internatio­nal exposure, the former president probably also relishes the opportunit­y to tweak the PGA Tour, which will stage its own event this week in Detroit, the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Greg Norman, the LIV commission­er and a Hall of Fame golfer, has been friendly with Trump for years, and the two spoke several times about the start-up circuit. “He loves it,” Norman said in a recent interview.

“He loves the concept, he loves the whole — and he thinks I’m the perfect guy for it,” Norman said. “We’ve had many conversati­ons.”

Bedminster has long served as a key hub in Trump’s world; the former president spends much of the summer months based out of the New Jersey club. A Washington Post report estimated Trump spent 106 days at the club while president, squeezing in nearly three dozen rounds of golf there.

Trump has played 18 to 36 holes of golf four to five days per week since leaving office, one adviser said. In recent months, he has talked or played with a number of profession­al golfers, including Johnson, Norman, Jack Nicklaus and Ernie Els, the adviser said.

Hosting a top-tier golf event at Bedminster has always been a Trump dream. He purchased the property, more than 500 acres of farmland that formerly served as automaker John Delorean’s estate, in 2002. At the groundbrea­king, Trump brandished a shovel and boasted to reporters: “This is a special place. We have so much to work with, we’re going to make this beyond anyone’s wildest dreams and expectatio­ns.”

Ashley Cooper, who managed the property in the early days and later ascended to managing partner of Trump Golf, said in an email, “We knew from day one it was destined to host majors.”

Turns out a lot of people fend for dinner, and have a lot of terms for it.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the concept of fending for dinner, which can range from as low-effort as tipping the end of a bag of chips into your mouth to as elaborate as an abundant, from-the-fridge charcuteri­e board. There are no real rules to a meal of snacks, except that it can and often does incorporat­e leftovers — waste not, want not — and is usually quite satisfying. Maybe it’s a spread of banchan and bowl of rice, maybe it’s antipasti, maybe it’s leftover dal, a crunchy cucumber salad and a few tortillas. Whatever it is, a lot of us make it.

After I wrote about fending, I asked readers what they call it and how they do it. Hundreds wrote in.

Turns out, a lot of us, myself included, call it snacking, and there are a fair number of grazers and fenders. You fend for scraps, you scrounge and you schlop. There are leftover fiestas and fiesta leftovers, party boards and sloppy bowls.

According to one reader, it’s called tira in the Philippine­s, though others use the general term for snack, merienda. Some Spanish-speaking readers call it pica pica; some call it tapas. Other names for the practice include nibbling, pick-up meal, alchemy, kitchen sink, deja vu and the fun portmantea­u, plannedove­rs.

Many of you are foragers, but I liked that Jeannine Dewald of Benson, Md., calls her practice “suboptimal foraging,” a nod to her background in wildlife biology.

Some called it a smorgasbor­d, and at least one of you refers to the spread as a “borgasmord,” which seems to acknowledg­e the mixed up nature of the practice. Paula Mcnaughton of Mississaug­a, Ontario, turned it into a verb, smorgasbor­ding: “It’s usually lunches on Friday and Saturday when the week’s groceries are dwindling but before the next grocery run takes place. ... This might include any weekday leftovers, the last egg in the carton, the one carrot in the crisper, the jar of beets at the back of the fridge, etc.

“Smorgasbor­ding is a great way to prevent food waste, make more room in the fridge and spend less mental energy on meal preparatio­n. Another extra benefit is that for some reason it always makes us more grateful for the abundance that we have in our lives. Inevitably, somebody always makes the comment about how lucky we are to eat so well,” she wrote.

Indeed, we are lucky to have enough that there is extra for scrounging on the days when we can’t be bothered to cook. Another thread that ran through your comments? How freeing this practice can feel. It’s a great way to break out of the dinner-as-chore mentality.

Below are a few more of your terms and tips for fending for dinner. (Responses are edited for length and clarity.)

Pot luck leftovers: Most of the serious cooking in our house is for Shabbat dinner (Friday night) and lunch (Saturday noon). During the week we repurpose what’s left. Friday’s appetizer becomes Sunday’s main course, on Monday that cold rice from Saturday gets fried up with the lone remaining grilled chicken breast and some frozen peas and corn. In a good week, we are not truly stumped until Wednesday. — Barbara Silverman, Beit Shemesh, Israel

Every man for himself: But when I was a child my Dad used to cook one dinner a week from odds and ends, with ketchup and Worcesters­hire sauce added, and called it Slumgullio­n! We loved it, different every time. — Janet Badger, Houston

Junk food and crazy night: On a Friday night (always Friday) after parents have worked all week, everyone gathered in the kitchen for junk food for dinner. The Crazy part evolved, from dancing to oldies, to starting with dessert or simply eating in front of the TV. Whatever rocks your boat. We are now on the second generation of this concept, and in-laws have gotten into the act. It is freedom, and the kids and grownups love it! — Linda Rose, Baltimore

German picnic: From the evening in our Munich hotel when we were too tired to go out to eat; we went to Lidl and got what we could for a bed-top picnic in our room. — Jeffrey Shaumeyer, Bowie, Md

Expending all ammo: Everything that needs finishing up comes out of the fridge and gets heated, plated, tucked into a taco, whatever. Add the appropriat­e condiments, maybe a handful of nuts or a little cheese, and it is a meal. And a good one. — Jane Conner, Corinth, Vt.

A little dab will do ya: My mom used to call it that, and that’s what we still call it. — Becky Chapman, Orlando.

Smorgasbor­d (with a formula): About once a week, I take all the disparate leftovers out of the fridge and arrange them into three categories: protein, veggies, carbs. Kids can take 1 carb, 1-2 protein, and as much veggies as they want. My kids love having agency over their meal, and it’s one dinner I don’t have to think about while also emptying the fridge. — Nayela Keen, Alamo, Calif.

This and that: We called it “this and that” when my kids were young, as in the obvious “a little bit of this and a little bit of that.” Everyone loved it, until the baby grew old enough to express her opinion. It wasn’t fun, she insisted, it was just leftovers! So she got a brand new PB&J while the rest of us enjoyed our ’90s charcuteri­e. — Jill Lewis, Norfolk.

Fend for yourself: It was the solution after a busy day that didn’t go as planned and therefore no dinner ready — or when I thought the pantry and fridge were getting overly full. I did it just the other night with my kids, who are now adults and were visiting. A wonderful family tradition! — Nancy Dennis, Dallas

Tapas or aperitivos: My husband and I live in Spain, so theoretica­lly we could call our fending: having tapas, vamos de tapas. Actually, we prefer to use the village term for a weekly cultural routine: aperitivos! This refers to the institutio­n of going to the bar after the Sunday Mass. Aperitivos has naturally spread to Saturdays when, in the summer months, the whole village is out having tapas in the afternoon. — Barb Young y Angel Felipe, Villarejo del Valle, Ávila, Spain.

DYOFT: On nights when we pull from the freezer inventory, those are “freezer amnesty” nights. On nights when our leftovers have gotten out of hand and everyone wants something different, we call that “DYOFT” night, which means “do your own funky thing” and involves grouping the leftovers into whatever regional cuisine makes sense (such as Mexican, Chinese, American, etc). Or not. — Lisa Consani, Sonoma County, Calif.

Pig bucket: I live in a rural community in New Zealand. There are often domestic animals such as pigs and hens to feed from the leftover vegetable and food scraps. In our house, the scraps go into a bucket called the pig bucket. Every rural person knows what this is. So, when we are having leftovers involving whatever is in the fridge and pantry, we call it either “Every Man for Himself Night” or “Pig Bucket.” — Jill Burton, Taumarunui, New Zealand.

Snack dinner: Cooking for my daughters (4 and 2 years old), became exhausting because a) toddlers and b) pandemic, until I introduced Snack Dinner. My oldest daughter cheers when she sees Snack Dinner and requests it once a week. I take a cookie sheet or two, line it with parchment paper (fewer dishes!) and fill it with all manner of bits and bobs from the fridge and pantry. It’s the best way to use up random things, and to present 50 percent produce to my children! Random nubs of cheese or salami, cornichon, olives, whatever bottom of the bag crackers need to be cleared out, lots of crudites and berries, leftover steamed asparagus, whatever. Then we all sit around the table and just pick what we want. The girls always end up eating more veggies in this format, and it’s so casual and fun! — Alison Clarke-pentz, Columbia, Md.

Pupus: Aloha! Calling them “pupus” always elicits a raised eyebrow or two with our visitors, but that’s what it is, and basically constitute­s a full meal. Mahalo for giving us permission to eat this way (which I do most of the time). — Lucy L. Jones, Kailua-kona, Hawaii.

Bonus meal, or Gracious living: I am from North Carolina and since I was a child we called it “bonus meals” and they were enjoyed for the variety. My husband is from England where the same concept is referred to as “gracious living,” [or] “let’s have gracious tonight.” — Debra Swinley, Vancouver Island

Pica pica: Our family used the Spanish term for it — pica pica! A variety of breads/crackers, cheese, meats, and random leftover fridge items (salads, pastas, meat, whatever) — kind of like a dressed down and more eccentric interpreta­tion of charcuteri­e. — Silvia Foster-frau, Washington, D.C.

Eating the fridge: In our house we call it “Eating the Fridge!” It’s more of a progressiv­e dinner where we put out 3 or 4 things on small plates typically accompanie­d by crackers or toasted dayold bread. When we finish that, we ask each other if we are still hungry. If so, we go back to the fridge and dig out something else! — Lisamarie Eldredge, Petaluma, Calif.

Buffet: My mom did this when my brother and I were kids, and it was sort of like a buffet. Everything came out of the fridge and onto the table, even (or especially) a food that not everyone liked, or something not plentiful enough to give a full portion to each person. We’d make an initial round with our plates and then top them up to see how many of the food items we could eat up completely. Leopold, the family dog, was often pressed into service for the last bites. — Jennifer Applegate, Santa Rosa, Calif.

Dab social: You eat “A dab of this and a dab” of that! Sounds much better than ‘We have to eat up all the leftovers.’ — Dana Bookey, Zurich.

Mixture maxture: I have been doing this as long as I can remember. Growing up with Scottish parents, we called it mixture maxture. Most likely it was because my mom didn’t want to cook. I loved it and still do it almost weekly. — Valerie Finlayson, Los Angeles.

Deconstruc­ted dinner: We do this on most Friday nights. It started out as a happy hour cheese tray, but over the past couple of years morphed into something maybe slightly more healthy and became a full meal. We throw on some olives, pickles, tomatoes, a few leftover pieces of protein from another meal, a dip of some sort. Whatever is around and is easy to eat without a fork. Perfect with a glass of wine, relaxing on the patio after the week is done. — Laurie Kline, Richardson, Texas

Hotchee potchee: When my children were small, I used to make them a meal of a mixture of leftovers which we called hotchee potchee. — Joan Hollander, New York City

Son of leftovers, Leftover buffet or Leftovers redux: As cash strapped college students (in the days before microwave ovens), we couldn’t afford to throw anything out! Sometimes there was just a dab, sometimes there was enough for a side serving for two. I assembled a baking sheet full of Pyrex custard cups of associated leftovers and popped it in the oven while scrounging the cold leftovers (and sometimes combining them into some pretty strange salads). — Andrea Frankel, Nevada City, Calif.

The ratly feast: If you’ve ever watched the old kids’ movie “Charlotte’s Web,” there is a rat character named Templeton who goes absolutely crazy at the fair and the smorgasbor­d of scraps. —

Brokaw, Springfiel­d, Va.

 ?? Seth Wenig/associated press ?? LIV Golf will visit Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., this weekend. The PGA Tour hasn’t played at a Trump course since 2016.
Seth Wenig/associated press LIV Golf will visit Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., this weekend. The PGA Tour hasn’t played at a Trump course since 2016.
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 ?? Katty huertas the washington post ??
Katty huertas the washington post

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