The Saudi-backed LIV Golf professional league is denying explosive claims that it is seeking to “build an intelligence file” on the families of those who perished in the Sep. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as part of its legal battle with the PGA Tour.
Clout Public Affairs, a “boutique” public relations firm hired by both the PGA Tour as well as 9/11 Justice, a nonprofit group made up of victims’ families, made the allegation against LIV in response to a court subpoena filed by the Saudi-backed league.
“Clout’s allegations that LIV and its counsel seek to discover information about groups affiliated with 9/11 victims so the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can spy on and harass them is an affront to this Court, to LIV, and to its counsel,” LIV Golf said in a Tuesday court filing, which was first cited by Bloomberg News.
“It lacks any conceivable merit.”
LIV Golf, which has sued the PGA Tour alleging anticompetitive practices, sued Clout last month in an effort to obtain the PR firm’s communications with 9/11 Justice.
The Saudi-backed league said the request for Clout’s communications with 9/11 Justice was necessary because the PGA Tour has not been forthcoming with materials.
“The need for information from Clout is especially acute in light of the Tour’s modus operandi of interrupting texts, emails, and chats, and switching to undiscoverable telephone calls,” LIV said in its court filing.
LIV Golf has alleged that the PGA Tour and 9/11 Justice are collaborating in a “smear campaign” to discredit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
A judge has yet to rule on LIV Golf’s subpoena against Clout. The Post has sought comment from attorneys for LIV Golf.
A lawyer for Clout has declined to comment.
Last year, LIV Golf filed an antitrust lawsuit against the legacy PGA Tour after it suspended several high-profile golfers who defected to the Saudi-backed league, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, Bryson DeChambeau, and Brooks Koepka.
The nonprofit 9/11 Justice has filed a separate lawsuit against Saudi Arabia which alleges that the kingdom played a role in the terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of around 3,000 Americans.
LIV Golf is backed by the Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund whose holdings are said to be worth at least $620 billion.
It created a storm of controversy last year when it poached several high-name PGA Tour stars who were lured away by massive paychecks.
LIV Golf has staged several events in the US — some of which attracted protests from 9/11 victims’ families and their supporters.