Mike’s Notes: Donald Trump can’t help himself. Even though he is in the midst of impeachment for corrupt dealings with a foreign country, he now has used the power of the presidency to bribe Mongolia to get his son, Don Jr. out of a legal jam.
On a recent trip to Mongolia, DJTJ went trophy hunting for and killed an endangered species of sheep. Of course, since rules don’t apply to him, he did this without getting the necessary permit.
Facing possible prosecution, he turned to dad who made several offers and deals (BRIBES) with the leaders of Mongolia including a coveted visit to the White House. Miraculously, DJTJ was issued a retroactive permit for his otherwise illegal hunt. This had never been done before. Had his father not been president, he would have had to make the bribe the old fashioned way, with cash.
Welcome to the NEW NORMAL where lies are facts, facts are lies, up is down and down is up. If someone submitted the story of this presidency as a screenplay, it would be rejected as being too unbelievable.
by Jake Pearson, ProPublica, and Anand Tumurtogoo for ProPublica
The rocky highlands of Central Asia, in a remote region of Western Mongolia, are home to a plummeting population of the largest sheep in the world, the argali. The endangered species is beloved for its giant curving horns, which can run over 6 feet in length.
On a hunting trip this August, Donald Trump Jr. shot and killed one.
His adventure was supported by government resources from both the U.S. and Mongolia, which each sent security services to accompany the president’s eldest son and grandson on the multiday trip.
It also thrust Trump Jr. directly into the controversial world of Mongolian trophy hunting — a polarizing practice in a country that views the big-horned rams as a national treasure. The right to kill argali is controlled by an opaque permitting system that experts say is mostly based on money, connections, and politics.
Trump Jr. received special treatment during his summer trip, according to records obtained by ProPublica as well as interviews with people involved in the hunt. Listen to the episode.© Provided by ProPublica
The Mongolian government granted Trump Jr. a coveted and rare permit to slay the animal retroactively on Sept. 2, after he’d left the region following his trip. It’s unusual for permits to be issued after a hunter’s stay. It was one of only three permits to be issued in that hunting region, local records show.
Afterward, Trump Jr. met privately with the country’s president, Khaltmaagiin Battulga, before departing the capital of Ulaanbaatar back to the U.S., according to Khuantai Khafezyn, a local government official in the region where Trump Jr. hunted the argali and a former government official with knowledge of the meeting. It isn’t clear what was discussed. Trump Jr. wouldn’t answer questions about the meeting. Representatives for Battulga haven’t responded to requests for comment.
“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 specializing in legal ethics at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. She said that though Trump Jr. is not a government employee, he’s nonetheless 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.”