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Elephant kill decision faces pushback from Trump allies

Issued: 2018-03-08

The Trump administration’s decision to reverse course on an Obama-era ban on African elephant trophy imports is facing pushback from some allies of President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE.

While hunting advocacy groups and members of Congress who back them are cheering the decision from the Department of Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to allow imports on a case-by-case basis, others are knocking the move.

Two conservative media hosts who pushed Trump in November to put a pause on a decision to overturn an established trophy import ban are among those urging him to hold up the Obama-era order.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted a plea to Trump on Wednesday asking him to change the new policy and warning him what could happen to supporters if he did not.

“Please @realDonaldTrump, stick with your good instinct on this. We do NOT want to reward animal poaching. You will alienate independents & conservationists! #RespectAllofGodsEarth,” she tweeted.

Ingraham previously tweeted at Trump in November saying, “I don't understand how this move by @realDonaldTrump Admin will not INCREASE the gruesome poaching of elephants. Stay tuned.”

The next day, facing widespread backlash over the move, Trump tweeted saying he was putting a hold on the decision.

Conservative radio host Michael Savage has also spoken out against the FWS policy this week, writing in a blog post Wednesday that he “felt betrayed” by the administration’s secret decision after having previously spoken in person with Trump on the issue.

“I had spent a dinner talking to the President about environmental issues, and especially this, and this is what happened anyway,” Savage wrote.

“I made it clear that this was a red line that could not be crossed, that now elephants, lions and other big game had a target painted on them. I explained that the root of ‘conservative’ is the same as ‘conservation’ and the two do not need to be diametrically opposed. I explained what was meant by dominion, as I carefully spelled out in God Faith and Reason.”

"We hope that the president will step in here and overrule this order," he added.

Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeGOP lawmakers: Obama admin ‘hastily’ wrote lead ammunition ban Ex-Interior chief ribs Zinke over ‘secretarial flag’ Trump, Pence to address CPAC this week MORE have remained notably silent on the decision since it was released last week, with neither tweeting about the topic.

At a White House press briefing on Wednesday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump’s position “remains the same.”

Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift also said in a statement Tuesday that Trump and Zinke's "position remains unchanged.”


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