On Tuesday’s edition of CBS’s “America Decides,” CBS News Senior White House and Political Correspondent Ed O’Keefe and CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Nancy Cordes stated that the White House punting on the merger between the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf despite the fact that “inevitably,” they’ll say something on it might be due to a fear of upsetting Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Saudi Arabia.
O’Keefe said, “[W]e should point out that the conversation we had with them, our daily briefing, was occurring right around the time the Secretary of State was arriving in Saudi Arabia for a trip that’s expected to include time with the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. So, it may have had to do with that, that they just simply didn’t want to be engaging on a sensitive matter regarding Saudi Arabia when they know the top diplomat is supposed to be meeting with senior Saudi leadership and the timing of this was just so tricky in that regard. We’ll see, in the coming days, whether or not the White House or the Justice Department has something to say about any potential antitrust concerns or dealings with foreign agents. Certainly, there are lawmakers today — notably Democrats — who have said that, yes, this is something that should be up for review, at least to make sure that the PGA isn’t violating some kind of law or antitrust provision that sports leagues enjoy.”
After noting what a big story the merger is, O’Keefe added, “So, inevitably, the White House is going to have something to say about it.”
Cordes then stated, “Such a good point, though, that they might want to tread lightly while the Secretary of State is meeting with Saudi officials.”
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