Trump Sons Claim They're Not Involved in Sketchy Inauguration Fundraiser Despite Sitting On Its Board

The Trump Jrs. during Trump Senior’s speech at the RNC, July 2016. Photo via AP
The Trump Jrs. during Trump Senior’s speech at the RNC, July 2016. Photo via AP

The Center for Public Integrity has revealed that Donald Trump’s large adult sons sit on the board of a foundation offering access to the new president during Inauguration Weekend in exchange for money. The Opening Day Foundation also said that the highest bidders would get to go on a hunting trip with Donald Jr. and Eric. Now the Trump organization is wildly swearing that the Trump Sons had nothing to do with planning this event, despite making up half the total board members for Opening Day.


The optics of the situation were what the New York Times genteelly called an “ethical thicket” and what the rest of us would refer to as corrupt clusterfuck. Trump Press Secretary Hope Hicks broke her customary silence to issue a statement calling the whole thing an “initial concept” that the Trump boys have certainly not approved or participated in or whatever:

“The Opening Day Event and details that have been reported are initial concepts that have not been approved or pursued by the Trump family. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are avid outdoorsmen and supporters of conservation efforts, which align with the goals of this event, however they are not involved in any capacity.”

Again: Opening Day has four board members. Donald Jr. and Eric are two of them. Bloomberg reports that a revised brochure for the event stopped promising access to the Trump sons or the president-elect. A spokesman for the event said the Trump sons would be there, but only as guests:

Yet Mark Brinkerhoff, a spokesman for the event, said the Trump brothers would attend. “Eric and Donald Jr., who are honorary co-chairman, are invited guests and will be there,” he said, adding that they aren’t members of the organizing committee.

The same guy told the Times that new paperwork would be filed to take Eric and Don Jr. off the board: “Eric and Don Jr. will support the foundation, but they will not be co-founders of it. Their involvement with the foundation and with the event is purely supportive. They will not be official parties to the Opening Day Foundation.”

It’s nice that the transition process has been such an education in covering one’s tracks for these two large adult boys.

Anna Merlan was a Senior Reporter at G/O Media until September 2019. She's the author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power.



I am so glad we had the foresight to not elect crooked Hillary. We need more honesty and ethical behaviour. #DrainTheSwamp!