A detailed view of a golf bag belonging to Eric Trump reads “Trump 2024” as seen during the pro-am prior to the LIV Golf Invitational – Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster on July 28, 2022 in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Jonathan Ferrey | LIV Golf | Getty Images
Eric Trump is more than ready for his father Donald Trump to tee off in a third bid for the White House, even if the former president himself is holding off — for now — on a campaign announcement
Eric used a golf bag featuring the lettering “Trump 2024” under an American flag patch Thursday at Donald Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, club, which was hosting a tournament of LIV Golf, the controversial pro tour backed by Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund.
The younger Trump’s cheeky public display of the logo at a pro-am competition comes as his father contemplates launching another run for the presidency sooner rather than later.
A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization, the family business that Eric Trump leads with his brother, Donald Jr., did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday on the bag lettering. Donald Trump’s spokeswoman also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump and son Eric Trump react to his putt on the 14th green during the pro-am prior to the LIV Golf Invitational – Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on July 28, 2022 in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Cliff Hawkins | Getty Images
Donald Trump reportedly is considering formally announcing before this November’s midterm elections that he intends to run for president in 2024.
Trump, who lost a reelection effort to President Joe Biden, is said to be motivated at least in part, to blunt the rising popularity among Republicans of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who himself reportedly is eyeing a White House run in 2024.
But some GOP elected officials and candidates are worried that if Trump does announce he is running before November, it would hurt the party’s chances of winning majorities in both chambers of Congress this year.
While retaining the support of many Republican voters, Trump remains a deeply controversial figure due to his refusal to accept the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential vote results, the subsequent Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, and other issues.
On Wednesday, ABC News reported that a Republican National Committee official told that news outlet that the RNC would stop paying legal bills for Trump as soon as he announces he is a candidate, “because the party has a ‘neutrality policy’ that prohibits it from taking sides in the presidential primary.”
ABC noted that since October, the RNC has paid almost $2 million to law firms that represent Trump in lawsuits filed against him, and investigations by government entities.
This weekend’s event at Trump’s New Jersey golf club has generated controversy on multiple fronts.
The Saudi-backed LIV Golf is challenging the PGA Tour’s dominance in professional golf, which has led the PGA to suspend more than 20 players from its events for participating in LIV events without receiving releases for “conflicting event and media rights.”
LIV Golf also has been accused of being yet another “sports-wash” effort by the Saudi Arabia to improve its international reputation, which has suffered for decades because of internal government repression and human rights abuses.
Trump, who is from New York City, has been strongly criticized in recent weeks by families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks for hosting the Saudi-backed event at his club.
Of the 19 hijackers of four planes that day, 15 were Saudi nationals. Two of the planes that were hijacked slammed into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, which collapsed soon afterward. The Saudi government has long denied connection to the attacks.
“How much money to turn your back on your own country?” asked a woman in an ad created by 9/11 survivors and relatives and directed at Trump that began airing this week.
The ad also features a man saying, “This golf tournament is taking place 50 miles from Ground Zero.”
When asked about that Thursday, Donald Trump replied, “Well, nobody’s gotten to the bottom of 9/11, unfortunately, and they should have.”
But six years ago, during his first White House run, Trump said on an appearance on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends:” “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi — take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents.”
(With inputs from CNBC)