Sources claim that Donald Trump, Jr., the president’s son, received special treatment from the Mongolian government when he shot and killed an endangered sheep in August.
The sheep was an argali, the largest living breed of sheep, and they are protected under Mongolian law. You have to receive a very rare permit to hunt one.
How Did Trump Jr. Get Away With That?
According to interviews with the local hunting guides, Trump used a laser-sighted rifle to kill the endangered animal. After felling the helpless creature, Trump asked the guides not to dismember it on the spot, but instead to carry it away so he could have trophies made from its horns and fur.
However, permits to hunt argali are incredibly rare, and are almost always given out as a political favor. The animals are prized for their meat and their horns are coveted by poachers.
Donald Trump, Jr., had no such permit when he killed the rare animal. Instead, his was offered after the fact, an almost unheard-of act in the country.
Why Did Trump Jr. Get Special Treatment?
The Trump Administration has been bolstering its ties with Mongolia recently. As an American ally that falls between Russia and China, many analysts see Mongolia as a key territory in Central Asia to have close ties with.
Following a visit from Mongolian officials to the White House, Trump Jr. went to Mongolia for the hunting trip. Then he got his permit after he made the kill.
Many have pointed out that this is suspicious, and likely indicates the permit was traded as a political favor.
Tellingly, during his trip, Trump, Jr., who is a private citizen with no ties to the government, met with Mongolian president Khaltmaagiin Battulga.
Irony in Stark Relief
The elder Trump is facing down impeachment charges in the US due to his conduct involving Ukraine. Namely, he solicited dirt on political rival Joe Biden for alleged nepotism that got Hunter Biden a position at a Ukrainian energy company.
Charges of nepotism are widely unsubstantiated, and Trump’s conspiracy theories regarding Ukraine meddling in the 2016 election have all been debunked.
As such, it’s a bit ironic to see Trump’s own son as the recipient of what is clearly preferential treatment.