After widespread backlash over his decision to reverse the Obama-era decision to ban the import of elephant “trophies” from Zimbabwe and Zambia into the United States, Trump immediately took to Twitter to qualify his decision.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2017
Today, Trump again took to Twitter, although with a decidedly less optimistic outlook about deferring back to Obama’s initial ban dating back to 2014.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, however, has already confirmed that the ban would indeed help conservation efforts.
“Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve those species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” an FWS spokesperson said. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the hunting and management programs for African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia will enhance the survival of the species in the wild.”
Adding to his poor optics is the fact that Trump’s own children are avid hunters, and frequently post photos of them proudly standing over the remains of these majestic animals that they’ve recently slain.
Trump may try to frame his reality TV-style announcement as the result of some careful consideration, but it is nothing more than another assault on Obama’s legacy and a cover for his kids to continue murdering animals across the planet.