After Sandy Hook shooting, NRA’s Wayne LaPierre stayed on 108-foot yacht named ‘Illusions’

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There’s a deposition of Wayne LaPierre that is being reported on everywhere, and for good reason. In it LaPierre is asked about his luxurious lifestyle and why he spent so much free time on Hollywood producer David McKenzie’s 80-foot yacht. A yacht named “Illusions.”

In the summer after shootings in Parkland, Florida, and Newtown, Connecticut, took the lives of children, LaPierre said he felt he and his family’s lives were unsafe. Instead of arming more good guys in his family with guns, as is the NRA claim to fame, LaPierre took a free vacation on a very fancy yacht.


Question: When was your first stay on the yacht Illusions?

LAPIERRE: I think it was after the Sandy Hook shooting, the summer after the Sandy Hook shooting.


The deposition of LaPierre, that can be read starting around page 50, includes questions as to how it came to be that LaPierre was gifted a yacht to stay on, with at least four staterooms, “two or three or four staff people,” a cook, fully fueled and food-stocked, “a hydraulic state-of-the-art swim platform,” a 16-foot jet boat, and two WaveRunners? More specifically, did it ever occur to LaPierre that in having an all-expenses paid free vacation on this yacht, he was in “potential violation of the conflict of interest policy with the NRA?”

WAYNE LAPIERRE: I actually thought that given the security threat that I was under and the fact that NRA was — was at almost a loss as to how to protect somebody with the amount of threat that I was having, that — that my work and the threat that came with it, this was — was a place that I could go and be safe, and it was related to that that I — that I — that I did it.

He was asked a few times in a few different ways to really explain how he concluded it was okay for him to take this all-expenses paid “security” vacation. Asked if Pierre thought “the value of a 108-foot yacht with a full crew, full of supplies and fuel exceeds $300?” He answered that while he did agree it was worth more than $300, he was in a “totally unique situation that I think hardly anybody else in the U.S. experienced that type of threat, other than maybe the president.” Riiiiggghhttt. “I mean, I had presidential threat without presidential security and was looking for a place to be safe.”

Asked if the NRA security director signed off on this yacht experience, LaPierre was more evasive saying his security director just told him to “get out of town,” and so he “struggled” his way onto that 108-foot yacht, with a staff and a pool, and some WaveRunners … and a cook. But if you really want to see what rich and powerful people think and feel for the rest of us, and you want to see why it is hard to write dark satire these days, this exchange might chill you.

Question: When was your first stay on the yacht Illusions?

LAPIERRE: I think it was after the Sandy Hook shooting, the summer after the Sandy Hook shooting.

The deposition also included questions about LaPierre’s relationship to the NRA’s Board of Directors, and his use of a private jet to get places. Much of the deposition served as a reminder that LaPierre carries himself as someone who believes he himself is the most important thing about the NRA. It is this ego and sense of entitlement that has New York officials looking into LaPierre’s use of nonprofit money for personal luxury.

There’s a reason that Wichita, Kansas, judge and veteran NRA board member Phil Journey was trying to get an independent third-party inquiry to audit the nonprofit. It’s hard to trust the foxes with auditing the henhouse as one might say.

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