Donald Trump, Jr. visited Mongolia in August for a hunting excursion. He purchased the seven- day hunting trip during a charity auction held by the National Rifle Association before his father moved into the White House.
Trump Jr. purchased the trip for the opportunity to kill a rare sheep that was placed on the endangered species list back in 2006. Reportedly the Argali sheep are protected and hunting it is prohibited.
Trump Jr. documented his excursion. He stayed in a yurt and had Secret Service agents with him as well as an unnamed Republican donor. He does not mention killing the rare sheep.
According to ProPublica, the kill was made legal because Trump Jr. was given a hunting permit retroactively after he had returned from the trip. The news media outlet spoke with the hunting guide for the excursion, who stated that Trump Jr. shot the argali at night with a rifle that had a laser sight. The guide also stated that Trump Jr. would not allow the rare sheep to be dismembered at the kill site, which is customary to leave scraps for scavenging animals. Trump Jr. instructed the guide and his party to carry the carcass on an aluminum sheet in order to preserve the fur and horns. It is not known if Trump Jr. had his “trophy” imported to the U.S.
The Mongolian government had granted Trump Jr. a rare permit to kill the endangered animal retroactively on Sept. 2, after he’d left the region. It is extremely rare for this type of permits to be issued after a hunter’s stay. Reportedly it was only one of three permits that have been issued for that region.
After killing the endangered sheep, Trump Jr. met privately with the country’s president, Khaltmaagiin Battulga. Trump Jr. Has refused to answer any questions about their meeting.
“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?” asked Kathleen Clark, a professor of legal ethics at Washington University.
Clark added that Trump Jr. is not a government employee yet he is politically influential “incentivizing foreign officials such as the Mongolian leader to treat him favorably out of a desire on the part of a foreign government to curry favor with the president’s family.”