I don’t think he means this in the Truther sense of “We’ll never know who the hijackers were, what motivated them, or whether most of them truly came from Saudi Arabia.”

But you never know. He does love a good conspiracy theory.

When he says “Nobody has gotten to the bottom of 9/11,” I think he means that federal authorities have never proved publicly and conclusively that the Saudi government had a hand in aiding the hijackers. Which is true. And that’s germane here inasmuch as it’s the Saudi government that’s funding the new LIV Golf tour that’s holding a tournament at Trump’s course in Bedminster tomorrow.

Did it occur to him at any point during his four years as president that he could have ordered those same federal authorities to investigate the subject of Saudi complicity on 9/11?

It probably did. His disinterest in the matter isn’t a matter of him not understanding that he could have ordered disclosure, I suspect, it’s a matter of him being chummy with the Saudis and not wanting to make life hard for them.

He’s getting heat this week for hosting the golf event from 9/11 families, many of whom hold the Saudi government responsible for their murdered relatives. Biden hasn’t done much better than Trump in forcing disclosure about the Saudis’ role in 9/11 but the FBI did release a heavily redacted document last year which the group 9/11 Families United regarded as momentous:

Even with the unfortunate number of redactions, the report contains a host of bombshell new revelations, implicating numerous Saudi government officials, in a coordinated effort to mobilize an essential support network for the first arriving 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar. The range of contacts at critical moments among these Saudi government officials, al-Qaeda and the hijackers is stunning.

The 9/11 Commission found that Hazmi and Mihdhar were “ill-prepared” for their daunting mission, and that al Qaeda would not have sent them to the U.S. “without arranging to receive assistance from one or more individuals informed in advance of their arrival” (9/11 Commission Report at p. 215). This report and other evidence confirms that it was a group of Saudi government officials affiliated with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the cradle of Wahhabi extremism within the Saudi government, who came immediately to their aid as they commenced their terrorist preparations.

Now that Biden has been forced by circumstance to beg the Saudis for help in reducing the price of oil, that’s probably the last 9/11 disclosure about them that we’ll get from him. As for Trump, before he became president he seemed to have little doubt about who was responsible for 9/11. “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi — take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents,” he told Fox News in early 2016, during the primaries. Later that day, he told a crowd in South Carolina, “You will find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center, ‘cuz they have papers in there that are very secret. You may find it’s the Saudis, okay? But you will find out.” That was a reference to the redacted (and later declassified) pages in a congressional report that claimed some of the hijackers had received financial support from figures tied to the Saudi government. Trump was digging in on the subject at the time because George W. Bush, who had classified those pages, was coming to South Carolina to campaign for Jeb; the insinuation was that the Bushes might be covering up Saudi complicity due to their own coziness with the royal family.

Fast-forward six years and that same Saudi government, now led by a psycho known for murdering dissidents, is leveraging Trump’s hospitality to launch its new golf tour in the U.S. The tour is itself an attempt to whitewash the reputation of Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi royals after the Khashoggi assassination briefly made them too unsavory for some western powers to deal with. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, recently got a $2 billion check from the Saudis to help jumpstart his new hedge fund, a show of fraternity from Riyadh that would have made even the Bushes blush.

The money being spent at Bedminster and on Kushner is part bribe, in case the Trumps return to the White House, and part advertising. If throwing cash at the Republican Party’s own royal family is what the Saudis need to do to purchase respectability with one of America’s two major parties, that’s a bargain. Having a former president and the current leader of the GOP muse that nobody’s gotten to the bottom of what happened on 9/11 is simply part of the return on their investment.

Some 9/11 families are accusing Trump of accepting blood money. “It is incomprehensible to us that a former president of the United States would cast our loved ones aside for personal financial gain,” the group 9/11 Justice wrote in a letter to him recently. Many have emphasized the fact that Bedminster is just 50 miles from Ground Zero. “We’ve had to grow a tough skin over the last 20 years, but this is cruel and callous,” said one New Jersey resident whose brother died in the attack. “Forget that it’s unpresidential. It’s so hurtful to the 9/11 community.”

Oh well. The tournament will proceed tomorrow as scheduled. In fact, Trump hyped the event before the press today by predicting that the LIV tour will eventually overtake the PGA Tour. “You have really the best players in the world, many of the best players, and soon you’ll probably have all of them,” he said. He’s always been a salesman at heart.

I’ll leave you with the new ad from 9/11 Justice. Despite their criticism of Trump, the families of the deceased understand that America’s failure to hold the Saudis accountable is a thoroughly bipartisan project.

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