Trumps india gift
Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

The National Archives has already been forced to go to Mar-a-Lago to find all of the papers that former President Donald Trump took from the White House. There are still documents missing, according to a Feb. 2022 report. In April, it was revealed that Trump officials failed to provide details or track any foreign gifts given to the president. It's now something that the House Oversight and Reform Committee is investigating, CNN reported.

When a president accepts a gift from a foreign country it is tracked and reported and ultimately belongs to the United States, not to the individual. The reason is to maintain transparency and ensure that no country could buy off a president or top US official. Trump's White House apparently didn't work that way.

Last year, the inspector general reported that the Trump administration allowed tens of thousands of dollars in gifts to go "missing." The report cited a 30-year-old Suntory Hibiki bottle of Japanese whiskey that was given to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It was worth $5,800. Another gift was a 22-karat gold commemorative coin valued at $560 given to a different State Department official. There were also "monogrammed commemorative pewter trays, marble trinket boxes, and leather portfolios," the Times reported. While readying for the change-over for the new administration, State Department appointees were also spotted taking gift bags meant for foreign leaders with them.

By April it was discovered that it wasn't merely the State Department, the West Wing also didn't give an accounting of the foreign gifts. In 2020, Trump traveled internationally and welcomed foreign leaders to the U.S. when gifts were exchanged. At least three items from his India trip were observed like a bust of Gandhi, a sculpture of Gandhi's famous "three monkeys" metaphor and a spinning wheel. None of the items were listed by the White House.

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The New York Times "also reported that government officials had questions about whether [Mike] Pence’s wife, Karen Pence, wrongly took two gold-toned place card holders from the prime minister of Singapore without paying for them," said the report. "The Trump administration, The Times reported, also failed to disclose that Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, had been given two swords and a dagger from the Saudis. A month after Mr. Trump left office, Mr. Kushner paid $47,920 for them along with three other gifts."

According to a new letter sent to the National Archives by the House Oversight and Reform Committee, members of Congress intend to look into the failure to comply with laws that govern foreign gifts.

"As a result, the foreign sources and monetary value of gifts President Trump received remain unknown," the letter says. "The Department of State also stated that it was unable to determine the identities of some government officials who received foreign gifts during the Trump Administration, as well as the sources of those foreign gifts."

The public reports about the missing White House and State Department gifts "raise concerns about the potential for undue influence over former President Trump by foreign governments, which may have put the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States at risk, and about possible violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from obtaining benefits from foreign entities while in office," the letter also said.

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It appears 2020 is the only year in which the State Department didn't get a list of the gifts, but the House said that the "Office of the Chief of Protocol failed to request a listing." It is only due to media reporting that the department realized there was no accounting of the gifts. Most of the gift exchanges were photographed or reported on at the time by the U.S. and international press.

Read the full report at