LIV Golf accused of "building intelligence" on 9/11 families

Clout Public Affairs is contesting a subpoena brought to them by LIV Golf accusing the new tour of "tracking and monitoring" 9/11 victims and families.

Matt Chivers's picture
Thu, 5 Jan 2023
LIV Golf accused of "building intelligence" on 9/11 families

LIV Golf has been accused of building intelligence on the families of 9/11 victims who have been critical of its ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

As reported by Bloomberg, LIV has been accused by Clout, a Public Affairs firm based in Washington DC, of gathering info on 9/11 Justice using a third-party firm.

"LIV has brazenly hired a firm in the United States to track and monitor the activities of these 9/11 victims and families, while simultaneously, through the underlying lawsuit, using antitrust discovery to now sift Clout’s communications with these families," said Clout in the filing submitted on Tuesday.

In December, LIV Golf claimed that the Tour hired Clout to arrange for 9/11 families to protest at events during the inaugural season of the Saudi-backed series.

Ahead of the second LIV Golf Invitational held in Portland in July, the 9/11 Families United Group wrote a joint letter to Phil MickelsonBryson DeChambeauKevin NaDustin Johnson and Patrick Reed and this was signed by National Chair Terry Strada, who lost her husband Tom in the attacks on 11 September 2001.

LIV accused the Tour of spreading "anti-Saudi sentiment," and it has said the Tour gave evidence in the current antitrust case which suggests it "organised and likely funded" the 9/11 families’ protests.

The new breakaway league claimed in a court filing that "the Tour hired Clout to front this campaign, insisting that Clout conceal the Tour’s orchestration of this effort."

Clout has argued that LIV's demand for a subpoena violates the First Amendment privilege between the PR firm and its client. They say the subpoena from LIV Golf could cause numbers, names and email addresses to be exposed which "could well lead to hacking or other retaliation."

"LIV’s casual assumption that it is a simple golf league that was suddenly smeared with an unexpected political attack is utterly false," Clout has said.

"LIV was conceived as a PR vehicle by Kingdom consultants as a last-ditch effort to dull the massive public backlash from the Khashoggi murder and other current events."