- Donald Trump Jr. did promotions for a gun company owned by a polygamous sect whose members have been under significant legal scrutiny, according to a new CBS News report.
- Several members of The Order — a religious sect which broke off from the Church of Latter Day Saints in the 1930s and is deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — pleaded guilty in March to charges stemming from a $1.1 billion fraud scheme.
- Trump Jr. posed for the photos on July 24 in Utah, brandishing Desert Tech rifiles and posing with the company’s founder, Nicholas Young, who CBS reports is a high ranking “numbered man” member of The Order.
- The Salt Lake Tribune has been investigating The Order, and was first to report on Trump Jr. appearing at the Desert Tech event.
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Donald Trump Jr. promoted guns from a company owned by members of a polygamous sect deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, according to a CBS News report.
The president’s eldest son made his cameos on a July 24 visit to Utah, where he posed with guns from Desert Tech rifles, a company run by members of The Order.
The Order, also known as the Kingston clan, broke off from the Church of Latter Day Saints in the 1930s and practices polygamy, which is illegal in the United States.
Trump Jr. posed with Nicholas Young, the company’s founder and a “numbered man” in The Order, according to CBS News. In an interview with SPLC’s magazine “Intelligence Report,” Young said he believes in polygamy but declined to say if he has multiple wives.
“Numbered men” are in a high ranking circle of The Order with privileges such as running businesses affiliated with the sect — which Rolling Stone described as “the most powerful polygamist cult in America” — and are part of the 144,000 men eventually chosen to rule heaven, based on the group’s interpretation of the Book of Revelations.
Several members of The Order have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a DOJ probe into a $1.1 billion fraud scheme.
The Department of Justice has been trying to seize the building where Desert Tech is headquartered as part of the investigation into Young’s cousin who owns the building, according to CBS. Desert Tech and Young have not been accused of crimes.
The Order has an internal banking system, which allows followers to accrue debt in their childhood years.
A spokesman for Trump Jr. told CBS that the news outlet was engaging in “a pathetic and transparent attempt to smear by association the President’s eldest son.”