Hell has frozen over. President Donald Trump has found an Obama-era regulation that he doesn’t want to overturn.
The Huffington Post got a sneak preview of British journalist and former CNN host Piers Morgan’s interview with the President and discovered one highly uncharacteristic moment that has many people puzzled over the apparent reversal of Trump’s usually unsentimental worldview.
Morgan was discussing the President’s decision last November to put on hold the Interior Department’s decision to reverse the ban on the import of elephant trophies by wealthy big game hunters.
The reversal of Obama’s ban was initiated by The Fish and Wildlife Service, which is overseen by Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke and used the excuse that continuing hunting-generated fees that fund conservation efforts would help save elephants from extinction. Conservationists immediately rose up in arms against the decision to reverse the trophy ban by pointing out the obvious cognitive dissonance involved in saving elephants by shooting them.
It was the opposition to the ban by several conservative media figures, who still understand that conservation should by definition be the default conservative policy towards the environment, that brought the issue to Trump’s attention. After Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham slammed the decision, and Ellen DeGeneres mobilized her audience in opposition, Trump surprised everyone by sending out a tweet putting the rollback of the regulation on hold until further notice.
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
Given that his own sons are avid hunters and with the NRA lobbying heavily for hunter’s rights to bring back the severed heads of their prey, Trump’s tweet was shocking in its diametric opposition to everything the President had stood for. He sent another tweet out just days later reinforcing his opposition to the practice at least in regards to elephants.
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
After the second tweet, oddly, came silence, with no announcement made one way or another regarding the regulatory rollback… until now.
Trump told Morgan that Obama’s ban will continue and gave his reasons for the decision to make an exception to his general rule of destroying everything that Obama accomplished:
“I didn’t want elephants killed and stuffed and have the tusks brought back into this [country] and people can talk all they want about preservation and all of the things that they’re saying where money goes towards ― well, money WAS going ― in that case, going to a government which was probably taking the money, OK? I turned that order around. You know, that was an order. I totally turned it around. Were you shocked that I did it?,” the President asked.
When Morgan admits that he was indeed surprised, Trump continued:
“I thought it was terrible. That was done by a very high level government person. As soon as I heard about it, I turned it around. That same day ― not even a day went by. No, I was not believing in [the conservation argument].”
With the unexpected news that his decision is indeed permanent and the trophy hunting regulation will stay in place, animal lovers everywhere rejoiced, not expecting good tidings from this administration. Perhaps the best comment on the develoment came from former FBI agent and current CNN analyst Asha Rangappa who posted the news in this tweet.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day, folks. This was a good call. https://t.co/kSDQIojaQo
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) January 28, 2018
That analogy puts Trump’s actions here in the kind of perspective that a dedicated resistance member can digest. We’ll take good news whenever we can get it.