For $500K, Donors Could Have Gone Hunting With Donald Trump’s Sons

To raise funds for a brand-new nonprofit run by Donald Trump’s trophy-hunting sons Donald Jr. and Eric, donators were offered the opportunity to pay $500,000 to $1 million to go on a multi-day hunting or fishing trip with the two.

Back in October, the bipartisan Humane Society of the United States warned that a Trump presidency would be a “threat to animals everywhere.” Even before Trump has been inaugurated, this concern appeared to be coming true.

And that’s not the only issue here. During his campaign, Donald Trump frequently complained about “pay to play” schemes in conventional politics – in particular, he found it “criminal” that big-money donors to the Clinton Foundation were granted access to Hillary and Bill. As a Washington outsider, Trump promised to change all that. But just like his failed assurance to “drain the swamp,” his administration appears to have no problem with paying to play, as far as his own family’s charities are concerned.

Opening Day Foundation Less Than Two Weeks Old

The newest of these charities is the Opening Day Foundation, which was registered to operate as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Dallas on Dec. 14 – less than two weeks ago. Trump’s two oldest sons were initially listed as being on its board of directors along with Gentry Beach, a hedge-fund manager, and Tom Hicks, Jr., son of billionaire Tom Hicks.

On Nov. 11, the Dallas News reported that Beach and Hicks were instrumental in helping Trump get elected. “When Donald looks out of the window of the White House, he can thank these two guys,” Robert Blaha, chairman of the Trump campaign in Colorado, told the paper.

What did they do to get him elected? According to TMZ, which uncovered a brochure about the hunting fundraiser, the two spent a lot of time campaigning with Donald Trump, Jr. in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Iowa, “all states with a huge population of hunters, fishermen and gun enthusiasts,” sources said.

The hunt-with-the-Trumps opportunity was one of several packages that were initially offered for the “Opening Day 2017″ event to be held on Jan. 21, the night after Trump’s inauguration, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C. The event, whose dress code is “camouflage & cufflinks,” is a way to “celebrate the great American tradition of outdoor sporting, shooting, fishing and conservation,” according to the brochure.

For $1 million, donators could buy the “Bald Eagle package,” which included “a private reception and photo opportunity for 16 guests with President Donald J. Trump” (value: $250,000), a “multi-day hunting and/or fishing excursion for 4 guests with Donald Trump Jr. and/or Eric Trump” (value: $500,000), and other prizes including “autographed guitars by an Opening Day 2017 performer” (Toby Keith and Alabama are scheduled to play; no value is stated).

Those with shallower pockets could opt for the “Grizzly Bear” package, which for $500,000 included the hunting or fishing trip and a reception for eight guests with Trump. Packages without meet-and-greet perks were also for sale, starting at $25,000.

Through the Opening Day Foundation, the donations were to be given to unidentified “conservation charities.” (You can bet those mystery charities have nothing to do with conserving wildlife.) The fact that they weren’t named is a huge red flag that should set off any potential donor’s scam radar.

‘Names Used Without Permission’

A few days after the news of the event broke, a Trump transition official told the Washington Post that Eric and Donald Trump, Jr. will not be attending it, and claimed that their names had been used without permission. But the event organizers said the brothers were actively involved in planning it.

It’s rather odd that the Opening Day Foundation fundraiser was announced not long after an auction to have coffee with Ivanka Trump was cancelled. The winning bid – nearly $73,000 had been pledged – would have been donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital through the Eric Trump Foundation, another family nonprofit that, unlike the Opening Day Foundation, has been around for more than a couple of weeks.

But as ethics lawyers pointed out, this auction was a big problem since Trump’s older children are so actively involved in their dad’s presidential transition process – not to mention that they’ll also be in charge of his businesses while he’s in office.

Offering access to the first family in exchange for big bucks “is just wrong,” Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a nonprofit that advocates limiting the influence of special interests, told the New York Times. “The president’s family should not be out raising money for whatever cause, in exchange for a potential influence buyer who wants to get his views to the president.”

What’s also just wrong is raising money by offering the opportunity to kill big bucks and other animals with the first family’s trophy hunters. Fortunately, this “prize” has been removed from the latest version of the Opening Day invitation — but it would most likely still be available if the original brochure hadn’t been exposed.

Photo credit: YouTube

144 comments

natasha p
.11 months ago

sick assholes should be killed

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Chad A
Chad A2 years ago

I cannot even remember the BS scandals involving the Obama children and the Trump kids are making sure to outdo the corruption of politics-as-usual.

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Karen G
Karen Gee2 years ago

Thank you for sharing

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Karin Geens
Karin Geens2 years ago

Idiots with the intelligence of a lettuce

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Christine S

The whole lot of them repulses me!

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Pablo B
.2 years ago

...

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Glennis W
Glennis W2 years ago

Trigger happy BASTARDS. Pity the USA This year and the next 4 KARMA. Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W2 years ago

Rotten cruel BASTARDS KARMA Thank you for caring and sharing

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E2 years ago

@ David F
I DO understand that you fill YOUR freezer with your "Conservation" practice. Who gives you permission to do that and keep the meat? Of course you feed them if they are worth $3000 to you. Hypocrite? Seems like NOTHING gets protected in Texas except the very rich and those who want to control women in the name of Christianity.
BTW..... You still managed to get the wrong "Rhoberta" yet it is written right below your post

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Jennifer H
Jennifer H2 years ago

OMG I could barely read this crap. How disgusting. First of all, who would waste that kind of money to be with ANY trump member. Conservation through Commerce -- what a hypocritical oxymoron. What about conservation through tourism? Big industry also and nothing dies. Justifying hunting deer because of their old age process. That is why there was a predator food chain. Novel concept, I know. But since hunters have managed to kill off the majority of top predators, prey animals are having the chance at longer lives. Still doesn't justify thrill killing. Conservation through commerce aka canned hunting in my opinion - is all about greed. No response is necessary as I won't be checking back.

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