On Tuesday, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said Donald Trump and his sons weren’t involved with the Opening Day event “in any capacity.” “Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are avid outdoorsman and supporters of conservation efforts, which align with the goals of this event, however they are not involved in any capacity,” Hicks said in a statement. “Additionally, the President-elect is not aware of the event or the details pertaining to.”
Updated information about the event also no longer lists an opportunity to meet with the president-elect, reported The Washington Post.
Despite Hicks' statement, Trump’s sons are listed as “organizers” of the event on the page where tickets can be bought. Organizers of the event also said Trump’s sons, honorary co-chairmen of the event, were involved in discussions about the fundraising event.
Trump’s attendance nor that of Trump’s sons couldn’t be confirmed by Opening Day event spokesman Mark Brinkerhoff.
See original story below.
President-elect Donald Trump’s sons are selling access to their dad for the cool price of up to one million dollars, the Center for Public Integrity reported after reviewing documents and interviews. In a similar move, the Trump family recently auctioned off coffee with Ivanka Trump only to quietly shut the auction down after its ethics were questioned.
According to the Center for Public Integrity, a Texas nonprofit called Opening Day Foundation is behind the private event in which people would get access to the president-elect, with proceeds going to unspecified “conservation charities.” The foundation’s directors include Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. The event will be held Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, at Washington, D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Sponsor levels range from $25,000 to $1 million.
Perks for donors include "private reception and photo opportunity for 16 guests with President Donald J. Trump,” “multi-day hunting and/or fishing excursion for 4 guests with Donald Trump, Jr. and/or Eric Trump, and team,” and “autographed guitars by an Opening Day 2017 performer.”
The Center for Public Integrity reported that Texas incorporation records showed the Opening Day Foundation was created Dec. 14. Because the foundation is a nonprofit it legally wouldn’t have to reveal the donors, allowing them to stay anonymous.
Larry Noble, the general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization, said: “This is Donald Trump and the Trump family using a brand new organization to raise $1 million contributions for a vague goal of giving money to conservation charities, which seems a way of basically just selling influence and selling the ability to meet with the president.”
The Opening Day event was confirmed by Walter Kinzie, CEO of Texas event management company Encore Live. He told the Center for Public Integrity that the Opening Day Foundation hired him for the event. Kinzie also said a brochure about the event released by TMZ was not accurate, but didn’t specify further.