Trump Jr.’s argali trophy hunt in Mongolia cost American taxpayers $77,000

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

By on June 9, 2020 with 41 Comments

We’ve just learned that Donald Trump Jr.’s trophy hunting trip to Mongolia, where he hunted an argali sheep—an animal listed as “threatened” under the U.S. Endangered Species Act—cost American taxpayers a whopping $77,000.

The revelation comes from the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which dug into expenses Trump Jr. incurred for this controversial trip made last year. Following an initial Freedom of Information Act request, the group was provided with Secret Service protection costs alone—around $17,000 for the trip. It was only after an appeal that CREW received information of other expenses, including flight costs and a stop Trump Jr. made in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, where he met with the Mongolian president, putting total expenses for that trip at the much higher figure of $76,859.36.

Trump Jr. is an avid trophy hunter and his exploits targeting at-risk animals, including leopards and elephants, are well documented. While all trophy hunting—done purely for fun and the thrill of killing a majestic animal—is unethical and disturbing, what is more outrageous about the president’s son’s pursuit of his deadly pastime is that Americans now have to pay for it.

The trip to Mongolia last August was an ethical minefield from start to finish. ProPublica, which originally broke the story of that trip, reported Trump, Jr. did not even have a permit from Mongolian officials when he shot the animal – it was offered to him afterwards, raising questions about whether he received special treatment from the Mongolian authorities. Argali are prized as a national treasure in Mongolia, and the permitting system for hunting one, according to ProPublica, is based on money, connections and politics.

The hunt itself was conducted at night, with a laser-guided rifle.

Back home, Trump Jr. has established himself as a champion of trophy hunting interests, peddling his famous last name for more privileges and perks, always at taxpayer expense because he receives Secret Service protection on all his trips. In February, he was the guest of honor at the Safari Club International’s annual convention, where the lives of 860 animals, including lions, polar bears, zebras and buffalo, were auctioned off. This included winning bids totaling $340,000 by two hunters for an opportunity to stay on a yacht with and join Trump Jr. in hunting black-tailed deer and sea ducks in Alaska.

Trophy hunters are usually a privileged lot with pockets deep enough to influence policies that favor their bloodlust. But Trump Jr. is not just any trophy hunter. As the president’s son he has an unparalleled ability to potentially influence our government’s policies on the world’s most endangered animals. But just like the Trump administration—which has launched repeated attacks against the most at-risk wildlife in the world, including hacking at the Endangered Species Act to benefit trophy hunters and mining and oil-drilling interests—Trump Jr. has failed to use his power to do good.

We are not staying silent. We’re challenging the administration’s changes to the ESA in court, and we are in good company, with many animal protection and environmental organizations joining us. We have also petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to refuse a permit for Trump Jr. to import the trophy of that sheep. Argali from Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Tajikistan are listed as threatened in the ESA, and import of a hunting trophy of an ESA-listed species can be authorized only if it furthers conservation. There is no evidence that this was the case here, or that recreational killing for trophies ever promotes conservation.

Being the president’s son may come with perks, like a retroactive permit from Mongolia to slay an argali and a red-carpet welcome from the world’s largest trophy hunting group; but it also comes with the scrutiny of his questionable spending of taxpayer resources by organizations like ProPublica and CREW, and opposition to his wildlife-killing activities from animal protection groups like ours. Americans do not want their money misused in a manner that will do permanent damage to the world’s most at-risk animals, and we will hold those who do so accountable, no matter how powerful and influential they are.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Humane Society International, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Michele OBrien says:


  2. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    necesitamos acabar con esta crueldad no puede ser posible que por trofeos matemos animales por diversión en qué mundo estamos viviendo y más que figuras políticas practiquen eso

  3. Buzzy says:

    Instant karma gonna get Lil’ Donny. Let’s hope so, anyway. However, taxpayers ought to be repaid every cent this privileged ne’erdowell has blown on this trip and all of the other cruel jaunts. Maybe if Daddy loses in November a real attorney general will go after him and the entire family of grifters. I hope Rep. Pelosi will take a look at this. She lives in Trump’s head and this would be another piece of furniture, if you will.

    • Angela Calvo says:

      Some people are simply selfish and cruel, and the only way to stop them is with government legislation BY VOTING. The Trump administration has reversed many environmental laws put in place by Obama to protect the environment and innocent animals which, clearly, the Trump family does not care about.

      • Steven Donelson says:

        Yes Trump 2020!!

      • Jerry Carney says:

        Hunters are the best conservationalist in the world.
        Money goes for protecting different species and making sure they survive!!!!
        Without hunter dollars we wouldn’t have the wild animals or the habitat that we enjoy now.

        • Grant West says:

          You are a true tosser

        • Jeanette Owen says:

          you are sick

        • Pat says:

          Killing the best & strongest doesn’t help the species prosper.
          Many of us go on safaris, admire the animals in their environment & shoot only photos. We spend money too! Why kill such magnificent creatures, as a trophy, to take their live away? What negativity, pettiness & what right has anyone to do so? I don’t, nor has anyone the right to tell me Look you can kill that elephant.

        • Rachael Glen says:

          A true conservationist would not pose, grinning, with a knife and an elephants tail. The very idea that this spoilt brat of a man cares about his quarry is risible.
          Having said that he must be a keen shot, how else could he have managed to shoot an elephant?

        • Rieesha says:

          We both know that is a lie. This is the ultimate gaslighting: I’ll kill for fun and then say it was for their own good. What a disgusting specimen of humanity.

        • Nitrous says:

          This wasn’t conservation it was self entitled arrogance.

      • Mary Gibbs says:

        Totally disgusting! Not only do I blame Trump Jr, but the countries that allow hunting of endangered species ! Man won’t be satisfied until all these magnificent animals are extinct!!! It makes me sick!!

  4. Trina Gravert says:

    The rich and high class think their God. These are God’s majestic animals created and they are to be left in peace!! It’s bad enough you encased their lands and environment but to kill them, your not worthy to be called a human being.

    • Anne Smith says:

      I totally agree with you, this bloodthurst is just terrible. I would hope at some point that He Donald Trump Jr would take a step back and analyze his behavior with why does he need that bloodlust to kill innocent animals.

    • Mary Watson says:

      Agree!!!!!!! Well said Trina Gravert!

  5. Juli-Anne Warll says:


  6. Jerry Satriano says:

    Donald Trump Jr. is one plastic
    Individual he thinks that killing these
    Majestic Animals makes him a real man he is not worthy!!
    When his daddy gets voted out in November and we get a new AG I hope
    that all the grifters and Daddy Trump
    will pay for their sins!!!!

  7. Carol says:

    And to kill them at night. The sheep didn’t have a chance !

  8. carole block says:

    I hate Trump and I hate his son. the animals he kills are beauiful. it broke my heart to read his story about trophy hunting which I have known about for years. I hope they both go to jail. thank you, Carole Block….

  9. Irene Auginaush says:

    That’s wrong. Lil Jr going hunting without a permit & costing us $77,000. We could have emergency repair to a lot of houses. Or stocked up the food shelves. Or helped the small business owners stay in business. Or the big businesses are failing. Those rich people wouldn’t even know anything about anything like that. Or donate to program – driving elders & under income people to Dr appts
    or help the farmers to help sell their pigs & cows (& their milk) but they wouldn’t even know these needs exist. I could think of many more. But too many to list.

  10. SONJA BICHEL says:


  11. Anick says:

    Animals abusers are a danger to humans too .No empathy.Total sociopath.

  12. Connie says:

    He thinks he is privaliged and above the law just like his father. This has to end and I don’t want my tax dollars paying for this behavior 😡

  13. Peggy says:

    I will refrain from judgment until I have fact checked this story. I don’t trust liberals.

    • Nuala Kavanagh says:


  14. Nancy Kelley says:

    Killing of these majestic animals should NOT be allowed!! I don’t care how deep their pockets are!!! They do not need their heads hung on a wall or their skins laid on the floor or over a chair!! With all these killings the nerds are getting smaller, almost extinct. Stop allowing this to happen!!! NOW!!!

  15. Barbara Gilbertson says:

    Totally immoral, egotistic, lacking in values, inhuman, exploitation of tax payers money. Just wrong in every way!

  16. Melody Nardini says:

    unacceptable, disgusting, unforgivable behavior !! Mimi Nardini

  17. Kim says:

    What comes around goes around. This family is due the bad karma it deserves…

  18. Steve cartin says:

    Just like his father


    They all think they are different from us, daddy is president so they are special but wait till he finally losses the military will have to go to the wh and drag him out kicking and screaming and that my friend will be true justice because we will be free from this dictator and that will be pure KARMA!

  20. Lonnie Parsons says:

    This isn’t hunting, you pay your money and some guide leads you out to shoot the poor critter. If you really want to be a hunter like I am, you grab your DSLR camera and trusty telephoto lens and get your shot. You can hang your trophy picture on the wall and no harm is done to any critter. This takes more hunting skill as you need to be a whole lot closer than a high powered rifle so your ability to find and get the angle you want takes skill. As to the Trumps, the only solution is to vote Don the con out and and let the state court go after the tribe of grifters.

  21. Janice says:

    I don’t care who you are…..LEAVE GODs creatures ALONE. You will burn in HELL for eternity…..and you so deserve it.

  22. Sue says:

    Just like his father – a smirky, narcissistic, spoiled, sneaky, gutless pissant!
    No respect for magnificent creatures or the American people!

  23. Kristi Fox says:

    Hunting at night with a laser-guided rifle is the type of cowardly behavior expected of the son of a coward who hides in his bunker from harmless, weaponless protestors. Like father, like son @realdonaldtrump

    • Beverly Callahan says:

      Also. The draft dodger of them all. This entire family is void of any morals. My son says that unless the animal has a weapon too it’s not hunting, it’s called stalking. Only a coward could kill a defenseless animal . I have raised 2 sons. They are now 50 and 54 but never in their lives have they ever killed a living thing. President Obama placed a ban on the killing and trophy hunting especially animals placed on the endangered species list. One of the first things Trump did was lift that ban. OMG!

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