Revealed: Gulf states' gifts to President Trump, First Lady

According to US law, gifts given to the President and his family are the property of the United States - although they are free to purchase them at market value once out of office
Revealed: Gulf states' gifts to President Trump, First Lady
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Tue 02 Jul 2019 02:06 PM

A $6,400 ruby and emerald pendant necklace from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and a $4,850 gold-plated model of a fighter jet from Bahrain’s crown prince were among the gifts given by Gulf states to US President Donald Trump in his first year in office, according to US government records.

First released in March this year, a document from the Office of the Chief of Protocol detail gifts given by foreign government sources to American federal employees in 2017, ranging from President Trump to senior members of various government departments and the US military. 

Other gifts given to Trump included a $3,700 bronze statue of three oryx from Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed, who also gave the US president a number of other gifts such as a $1,250 bronze sculpture of a manatee and a $470 model oil well surface cap valve system. 

In addition to the pendant necklace, the Saudi government gave President Trump a photograph of King Salman valued at $1,380 and several pieces of artwork. 

Other Gulf gifts included a $1,610 set of gold-plated Kuwaiti coins gifted by the country’s emir, as well as a $1,260 melon-shaped container of ‘Royal’ perfume given by Omani deputy prime minister Sayyid Fahad bin Mahmoud Al Said. 

The document also outlines gifts given to US First Lady Melania Trump. The Saudi government and its representatives, for example, gave her a $610 Chopard pen and an $810 designer abaya. 

Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka also received garments – worth $700 – from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Ivanka’s husband, senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, received a total of $1,120 worth of Saudi-gifted clothing items, including three black and gold ‘bisht’ robes similar to those worn by Gulf royals during official ceremonies. The Saudi government also gave him a $750 Chopard pen. 

China was responsible for the two most expensive items given to Trump and the First Lady: a $14,400 calligraphy display and a $16,250 set of plates imprinted with an image of the pink structure of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. 

In all cases, the document notes that “non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and US government.” 

All of the gifts to Trump, his wife and other members of his family were handed over to the National Archives and Records Administration. 

According to US government regulations, gifts to Presidents and their families are considered the property of the United States. 

Once a presidential term has ended, the gifts are either transferred from the National Archives to a presidential library or can be purchased by the outgoing president at market value. 

The full list of gifts received by the President and other federal employees can be found here. 

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