James Dodson is a sports writer, journalist, and author all-in-one. He’s written multiple books about the sport of golf, including co-writing Arnold Palmer’s memoir.
Since Dodson is an avid golfer and North Carolina resident, it made sense that President Donald Trump would invite him to his new course in Charlotte.
While that encounter was three years ago, Dodson recounted the meeting during an interview on Friday with WBUR’s Bill Littlefield.
He explained that it had been determined that Trump and golf legend Greg Norman would play the first nine holes together while Dodson played with First Son Eric Trump. He claimed at the ninth hole, he’d join Norman and Trump.
Dodson described when he got to the course and first met “The Donald”:
“When I first met him, I asked him how he was — you know, this is the journalist in me — I said, ‘What are you using to pay for these courses?’ And he just sort of tossed off that he had access to $100 million.”
While Dodson didn’t acknowledge whether he pressed Trump as to how he had access to such an exorbitant sum, he allegedly remembered asking Eric. He told Littlefield:
“As we were setting off, I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks — because of the recession, the Great Recession — have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.'”
According to Dodson, Eric said they “don’t rely on American banks” and admitted to receiving funding from Russia. He claimed Eric told him, “We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.”
With the Trumps’ relationship with Russia already in question, the interview set off a media frenzy.Screenshot/Vanity Fair Screenshot/The Huffington Post Screenshot/New York Daily News
However, Eric fully denied Friday’s claim during an interview with the New York Post on Sunday. He called Dodson’s interview “a recollection from some guy three years ago through a third person.”
Eric reportedly insisted that the interview was “categorically untrue” and called it “complete garbage.” He told the New York Post that “we own our courses free and clear” and “have zero ties to Russian investors.”