Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Taxpayers Paid Over $75K So Trump Jr. Could Kill a Rare Sheep

Politics
Taxpayers Paid Over $75K So Trump Jr. Could Kill a Rare Sheep
Argali sheep are considered a near-threatened species, in large part due to trophy hunting. Long Zhiyong / Moment / Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr.'s hunting expedition to Mongolia last summer, where he had the distinction of killing a rare breed of sheep, cost taxpayers at least $76,859.36, according to documents unearthed by a watchdog group.


Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, originally received Secret Service documents in March that showed that Secret Service protection for the trip cost at least $17,000, a fraction of the more than $75,000 it actually cost taxpayers. However, those numbers looked fishy to CREW, since it did not make any mention of flight costs, nor it did it account for Trump Jr.'s trip to Mongolia's capital city, Ulaanbaatar, where he had a secretive meeting with Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga, according to CREW.

"If just one of Don Jr's trophy hunting trips cost more than $75,000, it's staggering to think how high the Trump family's total bill with taxpayers must be," CREW tweeted while sharing a picture of an argali sheep.

As ProPublica originally reported, the trip was pockmarked with corruption. Trump Jr. did not actually have the proper permits to hunt rare argali sheep, the largest species of sheep, noted for their giant horns.

The government of Mongolia issued him a permit retroactively, after Trump Jr. had already killed one and left the region. He also killed a red deer, which also needed a special permit. Also, Trump Jr. was accompanied by a major Republican donor, oil and gas company CEO Kevin Small.

The trip was arranged through a tourism company owned by a politically connected member of the Mongolian president's party, according to CREW, as HuffPost reported. The company helped arrange the special permit after the hunt had already taken place.

As CNN noted, argali are considered a near-threatened species, according to the Red List of Threatened Species, in large part due to trophy hunting.

Trump Jr. is a proud trophy hunter, often using his social media accounts to share images from his hunting and fishing trips to locations across the globe, including hunting elephants. His pride in big game hunts has netted him harsh criticism from animal rights' groups and conservationists.

After Trump Jr. killed an argali sheep last year at night with a laser scope, he instructed his guides not to dismember the animal. Instead, he instructed them to use an aluminum sheet to carry the carcass so as not to damage the fur and horns, as ProPublica reported.

That order to protect the fur and horns raised suspicion from the Center for Biological Diversity, which asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate whether Trump Jr. imported argali parts back into the country — an illegal import, according to Forbes.


The Trump family averages about 1,000 more Secret Service trips per year than the Obama family did, according to the Treasury Department, as HuffPost reported. That's a 12-fold increase over the Obamas' travel. The president, as well as his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, all have kept their investment in their private companies, but travel on taxpayer money.

"Because of the overlap between the Trump Organization, the Trump White House and the Trump campaign, taxpayer money all too often ends up facilitating President Trump's conflicts of interest," CREW said in a statement earlier this year.

Plastic bails, left, and aluminum bails, right, are photographed at the Green Waste material recovery facility on Thursday, March 28, 2019, in San Jose, California. Aric Crabb / Digital First Media / Bay Area News via Getty Images

By Courtney Lindwall

Coined in the 1970s, the classic Earth Day mantra "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" has encouraged consumers to take stock of the materials they buy, use, and often quickly pitch — all in the name of curbing pollution and saving the earth's resources. Most of us listened, or lord knows we tried. We've carried totes and refused straws and dutifully rinsed yogurt cartons before placing them in the appropriately marked bins. And yet, nearly half a century later, the United States still produces more than 35 million tons of plastic annually, and sends more and more of it into our oceans, lakes, soils, and bodies.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Rise and Resist activist group marched together to demand climate and racial justice. Steve Sanchez / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Alexandria Villaseñor

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

My journey to becoming an activist began in late 2018. During a trip to California to visit family, the Camp Fire broke out. At the time, it was the most devastating and destructive wildfire in California history. Thousands of acres and structures burned, and many lives were lost. Since then, California's wildfires have accelerated: This past year, we saw the first-ever "gigafire," and by the end of 2020, more than four million acres had burned.

Read More Show Less
Trending
U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a pair of climate-related secretarial orders on Friday, April 16. U.S. Department of the Interior

By Jessica Corbett

As the Biden administration reviews the U.S. government's federal fossil fuels program and faces pressure to block any new dirty energy development, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland won praise from environmentalists on Friday for issuing a pair of climate-related secretarial orders.

Read More Show Less
David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less