Donald Trump, Jr. used a seven-day hunting trip to Mongolia he purchased during a National Rifle Association charity auction before his father was elected to the White House to allegedly kill a rare sheep that’s been declared an endangered species, ProPublica reports. Trump documented the excursion, during which he stayed in a yurt and was accompanied by Secret Service agents and apparently a Republican donor, on his various social-media channels, but did not admit to killing the rare sheep. ProPublica reports the kill was made legal after the president’s son was given a hunting permit retroactively after he had returned from the trip. The news outlet interviewed the hunting guide the Trump party used, who said he shot his argali at night using a rifle with laser sight, but would not allow the local guides to dismember it at the kill site, which is customary to leave scraps for scavenging animals. Instead, he instructed them to carry the carcass on an aluminum sheet to preserve the fur and horns. It is unclear whether he has imported his trophy to the U.S.
On Wednesday morning, a spokesman for the president’s son defended the adventure, saying: “This was a purely personal, father-son trip, which Mr. Trump bought in 2015 at an NRA auction before his father had even announced that he was running for office. No government officials from Mongolia or the U.S. were involved in organizing the hunt... Mr. Trump paid for his trip to Mongolia on his own, flew commercial and timely applied for and secured all required permits through a third-party outfitter—as is standard in the industry. As a protectee of the U.S. Secret Service, Mr. Trump has no say in or control over the security protocols that are deemed necessary and appropriate by the Service.”