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Former President Donald Trump plans to host a screening of the massively successful anti-child-trafficking film "Sound of Freedom" at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, next week.
The film's producer, Eduardo Verástegui, will join Trump at the July 19 screening along with star Jim Caviezel and Tim Ballard, the former Department of Homeland Security agent whose dogged pursuit of child traffickers is the subject of the film.
Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller announced the screening on Steve Bannon's show "War Room," noting that "evangelical allies," Bedminster members, and people from all around the country will be joining the former president to watch the film.
Trump's team emphasized in a corresponding statement that the former president takes the matters raised in the film deadly seriously, having "signed an executive order directing federal law enforcement to prioritize demolishing the criminal organizations behind forced labor, sex trafficking, and child exploitation[,] ... signed nine pieces of bipartisan legislation to combat human trafficking, both domestically and internationally, approved the largest DOJ grant package in history to combat human trafficking, and doubled the amount of DOJ funding to combat human trafficking."
Miller highlighted how both Verástegui and Ballard had previously crossed paths with the former president.
Verástegui was appointed a member of Trump's Advisory Commission on Hispanic Prosperity. Ballard was a member of the Trump administration's Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking and met with the president to discuss the critical importance of a border wall in curbing child trafficking.
According to Jeffrey Harmon, co-founder of Angel Studios — the company responsible for distributing the film, which has reportedly grossed nearly $54 million and has an 8.4/10 rating on IMDB — "'Sound of Freedom’ is a riveting film that shares the story of one man’s heroic efforts to rescue children from human trafficking. ...Through this powerful cinematic experience, we aim to amplify the growing movement to expose this heinous violation of human rights and inspire people to take action, helping their communities put an end to this modern-day slavery once and for all."
The film specifically tells the story of Ballard's transition from DHS agent to a private actor, saving missing children in Honduras and building his independent team.
Ballard founded Operation Underground Railroad in 2013. His outfit has conducted numerous sting operations at home and abroad and provided law enforcement agencies with resources to combat sex trafficking, which is a $150 billion industry worldwide. The group reportedly had a hand in the arrests of over 4,000 predators and the rescues of over 6,000 survivors and played a supporting role in over 1,000 operations.
TheBlaze previously reported that Ballard has been a fierce critic of Trump's 2024 opponent, President Joe Biden, noting that he and his border policies have helped to feed an "economy of pedophilia."
After all, an estimated 85,000 children who have entered into the nation illegally have reportedly gone missing in recent years, and "$14 million a day are landing in the pocket of smugglers and traffickers, thanks to the Biden-Harris border policy," according to Ballard.
While Trump was in office, only a fraction of the number of unaccompanied minors coming in now were crossing the border. Whereas in 2020, 33,239 unaccompanied minors entered the U.S. illegally, in 2022, under Biden, that number ballooned to well over 150,000. So far this fiscal year, over 91,000 minors have already entered the country.
Many of these children end up working illegally in brutal conditions, in sex slavery, or executing the will of other types of criminal sponsors.
Despite the seriousness of the problem and the film's attempt to raise awareness, the liberal media remains antipathetic to the project.
Rolling Stone, for instance, seized upon the news of the screening to once more smear Jim Caviezel as a "conspiracy theorist" and downplay the heroic work Ballard has done in the way of fighting human trafficking.
The leftist publication, which has paid out millions in the past for false reporting and was recently caught smearing Michael Knowles of the Daily Wire and peddling false claims about a Florida school, also advanced the suggestion that the film "creates harm."
In its coverage, CNBC referred to the film as "divisive," regurgitated the claim that Caviezel has promoted "right-wing QAnon conspiracy theories," and insinuated the story told in the film may not be true.
NBC News similarly characterized the film as "controversial," again platforming the suggestion that "the movie overstates the realities of child trafficking."
The Trump team stated, "Liberal media outlets like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Hollywood Reporter have refused to review the film, while publications like Rolling Stone, Washington Post, CNN, and The Guardian have trashed the film and mocked the millions of movie-goers who purchased tickets to screenings."
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.