Exclusive: Trump Slams Elephant Hunting For Trophies, Skeptical Fees Go For Conservation

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-slams-elephant-trophies_us_5a6d1759e4b01fbbefb25ea5

In an interview with Piers Morgan set to air Sunday, Trump calls the initial U.S. decision to lift a ban on trophy imports “terrible.”

In an interview with Piers Morgan set to air Sunday night in the U.K., President Donald Trump used the word “terrible” to describe the initial decision last year by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to overturn an Obama era ban on the import of elephant trophies.

Trump also says he does not believe the substantial fees that hunters pay to hunt elephants and other species actually go toward conservation efforts, as is often claimed, and instead are pocketed by government officials in other countries.

Trump confirms that the ban on importing elephant trophies from the African nations of Zimbabwe and Zambia will remain in place. That was not clear after he initially put the ban reversal on hold, pending further study.

The Fish and Wildlife Service, overseen by Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke, announced on Nov. 15 that it was rescinding an Obama administration ban on the import of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, saying money generated by the hunting goes toward conservation efforts.

“Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” the service said.

But the announcement on reversing the ban was met with scathing criticism from both the left and right. Powerful conservative media figures like Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham criticized Trump for the decision and called on him to keep the ban in place. Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres announced a campaign to persuade Trump to maintain the ban that quickly went viral through the hashtag #BeKindToElephants.

On Nov. 17 Trump tweeted, “Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!”

Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!

The announcement that he was putting the reversal on hold shocked many, primarily because his two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, are both avid hunters and have been criticized for hunting wildlife in Africa.

Trump also is closely aligned with the National Rifle Association, which strongly lobbies for trophy hunting rights. Two days after he made that announcement, he tweeted, “Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.”

Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.

That tweet led some to believe the ban would remain in place but no further announcement was made as promised.

In his comments to Morgan, Trump said, “Well, I changed it,” referring to reversing the move to end the ban.

He continued: “I didn’t want elephants killed and stuffed and have the tusks brought back into this [country] and people can talk all they want about preservation and all of the things that they’re saying where money goes towards ― well, money WAS going ― in that case, going to a government which was probably taking the money, OK? I turned that order around. You know, that was an order. I totally turned it around. Were you shocked that I did it?”

Morgan: “I was surprised.”

Trump: “I thought it was terrible. That was done by a very high level government person. As soon as I heard about it, I turned it around. That same day ― not even a day went by. No, I was not believing in [the conservation argument].”

The interview with Morgan is Trump’s first major sit-down interview with a non-U.S. television network and airs at 10 p.m. Sunday on ITV.

9 thoughts on “Exclusive: Trump Slams Elephant Hunting For Trophies, Skeptical Fees Go For Conservation

  1. He says today he will not support lifting ban he probably does not know that the NRA and Zinke and son will be pushing for this lift and change his mind the minute the focus is off. Trump has no ideas, no morals nothing

    This is accidental good luck for elephant lovers but his serial killer son will no doubt be working on poppa trump soon.

    From: Exposing the Big Game Reply-To: Exposing the Big Game Date: Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 3:07 PM To: louise kane Subject: [New post] Exclusive: Trump Slams Elephant Hunting For Trophies, Skeptical Fees Go For Conservation

    Exposing the Big Game posted: “https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-slams-elephant-trophies_us_5a6d1759e4b01fbbefb25ea5 In an interview with Piers Morgan set to air Sunday, Trump calls the initial U.S. decision to lift a ban on trophy imports “terrible.” By Ya”

  2. The wording is ‘the Cabinet Secretary serves at the pleasure of the President’, which means he can be fired at any time. I think this decision has been made about elephant trophies, and I am glad.

    Trump is a bit of a wild card, which to me means he isn’t as beholden to some groups as a traditional candidate. You can win some, and lose some with a wild card, and I’ll take this as a win.

  3. “A number of African nations, including Botswana, Kenya, and Rwanda, ban all trophy hunting.”

    The above is from the HSUS’ article on this. So obviously the leaders of these countries feel it isn’t necessary for conservation. And Grace Mugabe is implicated in an ivory poaching ring.

    It should be noted that this bans the importation of lion trophies from these countries.

    https://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2018/01/breaking-news-president-trump-confirms-hell-ban-elephant-trophy-imports-zimbabwe-zambia.html?credit=web_id93480558

  4. I was thinking. Humans are the most corrupt and greedy creatures on this planet. When you scratch the surface, this rarely is found not to be the case; in fact, many times what you find is worse than you could have ever imagined.

    Now that there’s been a regime change in Zimbabwe and an investigation into corruption, I would not be surprised if the trail of corruption and graft leads right to this country, to the highest levels of government and industry. Probably Europe too. So I don’t think you’ll hear much of a peep from Safari Club and the NRA, and other groups like them. President Trump even mentions ‘a high level government person’.

    I’d rather see this corruption uncovered than the daily sex scandals. Killing off other life on this planet for human greed is one of the worst sins there is.

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