The State Department says it is “unable” to compile “a complete and accurate accounting of gifts” presented to Donald Trump and other U.S. officials by foreign governments during Trump’s final year in office, citing missing data from the White House.
In a report to be published in the Federal Register next week, the State Department says the Executive Office of the President did not submit information about gifts received by Trump and his family from foreign leaders in 2020. It also says the General Services Administration (GSA) didn’t submit information about gifts given to former Vice President Mike Pence and White House staffers that year.
The State Department’s Office of Protocol reported the situation in footnotes to a partial list of gifts received by U.S. officials in 2020. The office publishes such lists annually in part to guard against potential conflicts of interest. A preview of the 2020 report was posted on the Federal Register website on Friday ahead of its formal publication on Monday. The department said it sought the missing information from National Archives and Records Administration and the GSA, but was told that “potentially relevant records” are not available because of access restrictions related to retired records.
Least surprising story of the week: State Department: White House gift records for Trump and Pence are missing.
— Hoodlum 🇺🇸 (@NotHoodlum) April 8, 2022
Regarding the 2020 gifts, the State Department said it had “made attempts to collect the required data from the current authoritative sources … but it has confirmed that potentially relevant records are not available to the State Department’s Office of the Chief of Protocol under applicable access rules for retired records of the Executive Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President.”
“The State Department says it is unable to compile a complete and accurate accounting of gifts presented to former President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials by foreign governments during Trump’s final year in office, citing missing data from the White House.” https://t.co/967ODymLs1
— Chargé d’Affaires (@BrandiAtkinson) April 8, 2022
The State Department report comes as House lawmakers have opened an investigation into reports that Trump had taken boxes of classified materials with him to his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida after leaving office last year. The National Archives and Records Administration has asked the Justice Department to look into the matter.
NEW: US House Oversight Cmte letter says US Justice Dept has blocked National Archives from turning over to Congress the White House records kept by Trump at Mar-a-lago. Committee says it wants explanation why (Letter doesn’t reveal if Justice Dept is investigating Trump)
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) April 7, 2022