Donald Trump Jr.’s Mongolian Hunting Trip Cost US Taxpayers $75,000
Donald Trump Jr.’s Mongolian hunting trip carried a heavy toll; dead animals and $75,000 in cold, hard US taxpayers’ cash.
The president’s son enjoys dabbling in some sporting wildlife bloodshed. In February just this year, he was granted a coveted permit to hunt wild Alaskan grizzly bears.
However, these expeditions don’t come cheap. While Trump Jr. forks out the necessary cash to arm himself, as the offspring of the POTUS he requires a degree of Secret Service protection. Here’s the good news for US readers: you’re paying for it.
Trump Jr. and his son travelled to Mongolia, East Asia, in August last year to hunt wild, large-horned Argali sheep, an endangered species that is also viewed as somewhat of a national treasure by the country.
The trip is steeped in controversy. Following a Freedom of Information request by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonpartisan and nonprofit government watchdog, the group initially received documents totalling expenses at $17,000.
This figure seemed low, so CREW appealed the request. Later, they were sent a more complete record of receipts which also included a private meeting with Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga in Ulaanbaatar, less than a month after he’d met Trump to discuss relations with the US.
In total, the eight-day trip racked up $76,859.36 in Secret Service costs, with Trump Jr. footing the bill for other areas of the expedition. While he didn’t appear to post any kills to his Instagram, he uploaded a few photos; one on horseback, another in a vehicle following sheep, with one caption describing Mongolia as an ‘incredibly pristine land’.
During his August visit, Trump Jr. shot and killed sheep illegally without a permit. However, he was granted one retroactively in September. According to ProPublica, the permit system in the country is tailored around power, fortune and politics.
Kathleen Clark, a legal ethics professor at Washington University’s St. Louis School of Law, told the publication: ‘What are the chances the Mongolian government would’ve done any of that to someone who wasn’t the son of the United States’ president?’
Earlier Treasury documents received by CREW also revealed the devastating disparity between Trump and the previous administration. Compared to Barack Obama’s family, the Trumps have been taking 12 times more protected trips, draining the budget of the Secret Service.
While several have been organised as a means to promote Trump and family business, plenty more elude the knowledge of taxpayers.
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CreditsCitizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and 1 other
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington