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18 Mar, 2023 10:43

Trump failed to disclose dozens of foreign gifts – report

Lavish presents included a Saudi dagger, golf clubs and a painting of the former US president himself, House Democrats have claimed
Trump failed to disclose dozens of foreign gifts – report

Former US President Donald Trump and his family failed to report over 100 gifts to the tune of nearly $300,000, House Democrats claimed on Friday, raising questions about whether this could have impacted Washington’s foreign policy.

According to a new interim staff report released by Democrats on the US House of Representatives Oversight Committee, the undisclosed presents include 16 gifts from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with a Saudi dagger valued at up to $24,000 and two sword sets with a total value of $8,800 listed among other things.

Other allegedly unreported gifts include a larger-than-life-sized painting of Trump commissioned by the president of El Salvador, a $4,600 model of the Taj Mahal from India, golf clubs from former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as books and art items from Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

“In total, records indicate that former President Trump and the First Family received 117 unreported foreign gifts, valued at roughly $291,000,” the report states.

This discovery “raises significant questions about why former President Trump failed to disclose these gifts to the public, as required by federal law,” the report argues. It was referring to Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act stipulating that US officials disclose all such presents exceeding a certain minimum value, which is currently set at $415.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), ranking member on the panel, accused the Trump administration of “brazen disregard for the rule of law” and a “systematic mishandling of large gifts from foreign governments.” 

He also noted that some big-ticket gifts – including Trump’s portrait from El Salvador – were missing, adding that House Democrats are determined to find out whether the presents “may have been used to influence the president in his conduct of US foreign policy.” 

These accusations come after the Republican-controlled House Oversight Committee released records on Thursday alleging that members of US President Joe Biden’s family received more than $1 million from an associate who had business dealings with a Chinese energy company.

This sum was said to have been distributed among the president’s son Hunter Biden, his brother James Biden, and his daughter-in-law Hallie Biden. The president himself dismissed the allegation as “not true,” while the White House spokesperson accused House Republicans of “bizarrely attacking” the Biden family.