Trump’s adult sons are behind a Texas-based non-profit which is selling access to the President-Elect and his family the day after inauguration in the form of private hunting trips and photo shoots with the Trumps.
Update: In the days since this news first broke, the Trump transition team released a statement saying they did not approve the details of the event. However, they did not deny that Trump’s sons serve as directors of the “Opening Day Foundation” nor the authenticity of the original documents mentioned in this article. However, a newly released invitation of the event did not mention any Trump family members as a part of the post-inaugration “opening day” experience
Though many Trump supporters hoped that the soon-to-be President would stand up for the “little guy,” recent developments seem to suggest that Donald Trump and his family are more interested in the lucrative connections and business opportunities they are set to gain through their newfound status as the First Family. A Texas-based non-profit, called the “Opening Day Foundation,” managed by Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, is already selling access to Trump for the day after his official inauguration (hence the name “opening day”) via a fundraiser. The fundraiser, set to benefit unnamed “conservation charities,” was marketed as “your opportunity to play a significant role as our family commemorates the inauguration of our father, friend, and President Donald J. Trump,” according to promotional materials obtained by TMZ.
The event offers six sponsorship levels ranging from $25,000 to $1 million. The highest level, titled “The Bald Eagle,” offers a private reception and photo shoot with the newly-minted President, four autographed guitars from Toby Keith and the band Alabama, and a multi-day hunting or fishing trips with Trump’s sons and their confidants. Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump are known for their enthusiasm for long-standing American pastimes of hunting and fishing, though they also have had more than one foray into big game hunting. In a May interview with the New Yorker, Donald Trump Jr alluded to his affinity for the outdoors and his defense of keeping public land in the hands of the people, a controversial issue among outdoorsmen. Though some liberal media outlets have doubted whether the fundraiser will really benefit conservation causes or not, they fail to recognize the possibility that Trump’s sons are not carbon copies of their father.
However, the issue here is not whether or not the fundraiser will actually benefit conservation efforts, but is instead the precedent the fundraiser sets for a “pay to play” set-up in the upcoming Trump administration. The term “pay to play” was largely associated with Democrats during the past election as Hillary Clinton’s shady dealings via the Clinton Foundation showed that her family’s “charity” was little more than a slush fund used to collect money from those who wanted access. Trump criticized the arrangement on more than one occasion on the campaign trail, but it seems that this may be yet another one of his “flip-flops” since winning the electoral contest last month. Considering the enormous wealth of his cabinet picks (nearly $14 billion in combined net worth) and the lofty sums required for personal access to Trump and his kin, it is becoming more and more likely that the next administration will be less about “draining the swamp” and more about expanding the family’s business empire and influence.
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