Renewed push for NYC to cut ties with Bronx golf course licensed to Trump
NEW YORK - The families of 9/11 victims are continuing their calls for New York City to cut ties with the Trump Organization's public golf course in the Bronx.
Councilmember Shekar Krishnan, chair of the council’s committee on parks and recreation, says it’s long past due for the city to terminate the license it has with the Trump Organization regarding the public golf course Trump Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx.
"Public parkland should not be in the hands of Donald Trump or his criminal enterprise," Krishnan said at a press conference Thursday at City Hall.
Council Speaker Adrienne Adams agrees. They’ve sent a letter to the city’s Commissioner of Parks and Recreation asking the city to terminate the license the Trump Organization holds with the city.
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Krishnan says the grounds to do so are "substantial," arguing that the recent guilty plea from a former top Trump Org executive should be reason enough.
"Alan Weisselberg— a named party on the contract with this city and CFO of the Trump Organization— plead guilty to 15 felony charges," Speaker Adams said.
Terminating the contract would not be without precedent. Last year, the city terminated Trump's contracts to operate two ice rinks and the carousel in Central Park.
But what makes the Trump Links Ferry Point issue even timelier is the fact that the course is set to play host to a Saudi-backed golf tournament in October— a move that's not sitting well with 9/11 families due to Saudi Arabia’s ties to the terror attacks.
"The cruelty and callousness of these golfers and former president is shocking and beyond painful," said Dennis McGinley with ‘9/11 Justice.’
A Trump representative at the city council hearing on the issue Thursday said the city-- and the office of Mayor Eric Adams-- gave the greenlight for the tournament.
Reps from both the Mayor's office and the Parks Department declined to appear at the hearing, though they did put out a video statement late in the day in which Chief Counsel Brendan McGuire said that the city could be on the hook for upwards of $30 million if it canceled the license with Trump.
"It has an extensive termination clause that prevents us from canceling it without having to make a massive termination payment," McGuire.
McGuire did not take questions on the subject.
At the hearing, Councilmember Krishnan asked Trump representative Ron Lieberman who from the city signed off on the upcoming Saudi-backed tournament to be held at Ferry Point.
"The event was approved," Lieberman said. "But what I would suggest of the city council is why don't you ask the city?"
The Mayor’s office did not respond in time for a response to be included in The 5 O’Clock News, but in subsequent emails spokesperson Fabien Levy said it was "the Parks Department, in coordination with the Law Department" who "oversaw the request."
Fox 5 has followed up to ask if the mayor was aware of the approval. We have not heard back.