- The State Department is probing if Trump officials stole gift bags meant for foreign leaders, NYT reports.
- Officials reportedly saw political appointees taking the bags, meant to be given out at the canceled 2020 G7 summit.
- The missing bags include “leather portfolios, pewter trays and marble trinket boxes,” The Times said.
The US State Department’s internal watchdog is investigating whether Trump-era appointees stole gift bags meant for foreign leaders at the canceled 2020 G7 summit on their way out the door, The New York Times reports.
The Times uncovered the previously unreported probe from the Office of the Inspector General at the State Department as part of a larger investigation, published on Monday, into missing gifts, both from foreign leaders and intended to be given to them during the Trump administration.
Nonpartisan career officials claim they saw their political appointee colleagues making off with the bags, paid for at taxpayer expense, from the department’s gift vault during the transition to the Biden administration, The Times said.
The pricey gift bags were intended to be given out to foreign leaders at the G7 summit that the US was supposed to host in-person at Camp David in June of 2020, but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and replaced with a series of virtual meetings.
The missing bags included tchotchkes like “leather portfolios, pewter trays and marble trinket boxes emblazoned with the presidential seal” or signatures of former President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, The Times said.
The inspector general’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request f0r comment seeking confirmation of the internal investigation.
In all, Politico reported back in August that the Department took inventory of the gift vault after the transition and found that at least 20 “types” of missing items from the vault, with the exact number unknown. The number of missing items stands in contrast to the Bush and Obama administrations, after which there were no items missing or unaccounted for from the vault., The Times said.
The Department’s other ongoing probes into still-missing items also include an investigation into a missing $5,800 bottle of Japanese whiskey intended for former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which Pompeo says he never recieved, and a 22-karat gold coin from Vietnam meant for former national security adviser John Bolton, The Times said.
The Times further reported that the over 80 gifts the Saudi royal family lavished upon Trump in his first visit to the country in 2017 included two robes initially thought to be made of tiger and cheetah fur but were later determined to be dyed to look like real fur, and a dagger. Kushner later reimbursed the US government for the dagger and other gifts with an estimated cost of nearly $48,000.
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