NBC News is reporting that the State Department Inspector General is investigating whether or not some Trump administration officials helped themselves to expensive Trump-branded gifts meant for foreign dignitaries.
The Office of the Inspector General is investigating whether Trump’s political appointees removed the taxpayer-funded presents from the State Department gift vault and took them home just before Trump vacated the White House in January, a department official with knowledge of the events said. The official said the dollar value of the missing gifts is “significant.”
The latest probe into missing gifts was first reported by The New York Times. The paper identified the missing items as gift bags meant for foreign leaders at a Group of Seven summit that was supposed to be held at Camp David in 2020 but was canceled because of the pandemic. The gift bags included leather portfolios, pewter trays, and marble boxes with the presidential seal or Donald and Melania Trump’s signatures, the Times reported. The newspaper cited public documents from the federal government, interviews with current and former officials, and statements from several departments and agencies for its story.
The State Department’s inspector general is investigating claims that Trump’s political appointees took gift bags worth thousands of $$ meant for foreign leaders at the cancelled 2020 Group of 7 summit.https://t.co/vzaDTebDhP
— Tom Burka (@tomburka) October 11, 2021
The inspector general’s investigation into the missing gifts during the Trump administration also includes a whiskey bottle worth $5,800 that was given to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by the Japanese but then disappeared.
#BreakingNews The StateDepartment inspector general is investigating allegations Trump appointees walked off with gift bags worth thousands. They were meant for foreign leaders at the G7 summit which was canceled due to pandemic.
— Johnathan Ford⬅️ (@FordJohnathan5) October 11, 2021
The State Department’s Office of Protocol is required to record gifts given to U.S. officials and keep track of their disposition. Recipients have the option of turning gifts of a certain value over to the National Archives or another government entity or purchasing them for personal use by reimbursing the Treasury Department for their value.
"The State Department’s inspector general is investigating allegations that Mr. Trump’s political appointees walked off with gift bags worth thousands of dollars that were meant for foreign leaders at the Group of 7 summit planned for Camp David in 2020."
— mwy (@wreddpepper) October 11, 2021
Trump received a number of expensive gifts in office, the State Department has said, including a 9 mm pistol from the Czech Republic and a hardwood bench carved to resemble a jaguar from Brazil. They were sent to the National Archives