US taxpayers spent 5 times more on Don Jr.’s endangered animal hunt than originally reported

US taxpayers spent 5 times more on Don Jr.’s endangered animal hunt than originally reported
Gage Skidmore

In August of 2019 Donald Trump Jr. took a hunting trip to Mongolia, where he reportedly shot and killed an argali mountain sheep. The sheep are found in Mongolia and are considered endangered. Mongolian officials give out a limited amount of permits to hunt the endangered animals every year, and Trump Jr. was lucky enough to get one … retroactively.

Junior’s hunting expedition, like any and all travel by Trump business operators, was covered in no small part by the American taxpayer. Junior needs Secret Service protection and at the time, the Secret Service estimated that the trip cost about $17,000. They even produced a receipt saying as much. Washington watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reports that the Secret Service’s original estimate was woefully modest.

According to documents that CREW obtained by suing for a Freedom of Information Act request, the total cost of Junior’s Secret Service detail was around $75,000. That’s nearly five times more than what was originally reported by the Trump administration. As CREW has estimated before, the Trump family has enjoyed running up their open U.S. taxpayer tab by taking 12 times more “protected trips” than the previous family in the White House.

One could argue that the Obama family had much younger children and therefore smaller travel and protection needs. But as we look at President Trump and President Obama’s total expenses for travel, the differences are night and day. Trump, by himself, has cost more in three-plus years than the entire Obama family travel spending over eight years. And most of the time it’s to spend taxpayer money at Trump family-owned properties.

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