Oversight Democrats Release Evidence Showing Trump First Family Failed to Disclose and Account for More Than $250,000 Worth of Foreign Government Gifts

Mar 17, 2023
Press Release
The Former First Family Failed to Report More Than 100 Foreign Gifts, Including Golden Golf Clubs from the Japanese Prime Minister, Swords and Daggers from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and a Larger-than-Life Portrait of Donald Trump from the President of El Salvador

Washington, D.C. (March 17, 2023)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, released an interim staff report entitled, “Saudi Swords, Indian Jewelry, and a Larger-than-Life Salvadoran Portrait of Donald Trump: The Trump Administration’s Failure to Disclose Major Foreign Gifts.”  The report presents preliminary findings from Committee Democrats’ ongoing investigation into former President Trump’s failure to disclose gifts from foreign government officials while in office, as required by the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act. 


“Today’s preliminary findings suggest again the Trump Administration’s brazen disregard for the rule of law and its systematic mishandling of large gifts from foreign governments, including many lavish personalized gifts that vastly exceed the statutory limit in value, but were never reported—some that are still missing today. 


“If the president doesn’t comply with the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act, it just becomes the Foreign Grifts Act and masks potential violations of the Constitution’s foreign Emoluments Clause, which was the Founders’ essential antidote to bribery by princes, kings and foreign powers.  Committee Democrats are committed to determining the final whereabouts of these missing big-ticket gifts—such as golf clubs, the larger-than-life custom portrait of Donald Trump from El Salvador, and other potential unreported items—and whether they may have been used to influence the president in his conduct of U.S. foreign policy.  We remain committed to following the facts to determine the extent to which former President Trump broke the law or violated the Constitution when he failed to report gifts and took possession of valuable items without paying the fair market price for them.  We also will assess whether legislative reforms are needed to ensure foreign gift records are reported and American constitutional values and boundaries are no longer trampled.”


The Committee’s investigation uncovered the following findings:


  • The Trump White House failed to report over 100 foreign gifts that were given to the President and the First Family and were above the reporting threshold, including some gifts valued at thousands of dollars.


    • While the White House reported some foreign gifts to the State Department from 2017 through 2019, it did not report all foreign gifts received during this time.  Former President Trump and the First Family failed to report more than 100 foreign gifts with a total value of over a quarter of a million dollars.  In November 2021, the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General issued a report on significant problems at the Office of the Chief of Protocol during the Trump Administration, including “missing items of a significant value.”  The report determined that a “lack of accurate recordkeeping and appropriate physical security controls contributed to the loss of the gifts.”   


    • In April 2022, the State Department revealed that it could not fully account for the foreign gifts Trump Administration officials received in 2020.   The State Department stated that the Executive Office of the President failed to provide a foreign gift listing for 2020.  The Department’s Office of the Chief of Protocol, which was led by Trump Administration appointees, failed to request a listing prior to the change in administrations.  After President Trump left office, the Office of the Chief of Protocol attempted to collect the required data but determined it could no longer obtain potentially relevant records due to restrictions on accessing retired presidential records.  


  • The discovery of these unreported foreign gifts raises significant questions about why former President Trump failed to disclose these gifts to the public, as required by federal law.


    • Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates:   The Committee discovered 16 unreported gifts to the Trump family with a total value of more than $45,000, including three gifts to President Trump and one gift to the President and First Lady.  The unreported gifts included a Saudi dagger valued at up to $24,000 and two sword sets with a total value of $8,800.  General Services Administration (GSA) records showed that Mr. Kushner purchased and retained five Saudi gifts, including the dagger.  A separate Committee investigation also revealed that the governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at the Trump Hotel while publicly lobbying for President Trump’s support during the Qatar crisis.  


    • El Salvador:  The Committee obtained internal White House communications referring to a larger-than-life-sized painting of President Trump that the President of El Salvador commissioned and delivered to the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador as a gift to President Trump, just before the 2020 elections.  On November 19, 2020, the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of El Salvador notified officials at the White House Gift Office and State Department Diplomatic Gift Unit about this foreign gift and requested assistance with shipping it to President Trump.  There are no records of the painting’s disposition.  The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) had no records of this painting and GSA also had no records for the purchase of this gift.  However, despite GSA transition documents indicating that the Director of Correspondence for the Office of Donald J. Trump certified “full compliance with the final disposition of gifts” in April 2021, records obtained by the Committee suggest the portrait may have been moved to Florida as “property of the former President” in July 2021.


    • JapanAccording to reports, the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, gave then-President-elect Trump a $3,755 gold golf driver in November 2016 and sought to cultivate a “special relationship.”   Federal Register listings showed zero foreign gifts reported for President Trump from Prime Minister Abe in 2017, 2018, or 2019, but internal White House records reveal that Prime Minister Abe gave additional golf clubs to President Trump during visits to the Trump International Golf Club and Kasumigaseki Country Club in 2017 and 2018.   These gifts included a putter valued at $460 and a driver valued at $3,040.  NARA has no records of these golf clubs and does not have the golf clubs in its custody.  GSA also has no records of the golf clubs being purchased.  The Committee is still seeking to determine the final disposition of these gifts.


    • IndiaDocuments revealed that the Trump family received 17 unreported gifts from India with a total estimated value of more than $47,000.  Among these gifts were an $8,500 vase, a $4,600 model of the Taj Mahal, and $1,900 cufflinks.


Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act requires that all foreign gifts over the minimal value be publicly disclosed, regardless of their final disposition.  The White House is responsible for compiling and submitting to the State Department a list of gifts given to the President, the Vice President, and their families by foreign governments.  The State Department publishes annually in the Federal Register a comprehensive list of gifts from foreign governments to U.S. government employees, including the President, the Vice President, and their families.  The State Department’s publication must include all foreign gifts received that are above the minimal value, even if the recipient ultimately purchases the gift.  GSA regulations specify a process for individual employees—including the President—to purchase gifts.  


Failing to report and disclose gifts pursuant to these rules violates the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act and may also violate the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the President from obtaining benefits from foreign entities while in office.  In addition, under the Ethics in Government Act, the President is required to publicly disclose gifts over the minimal value that they and their immediate family received.


The Committee is continuing to investigate the final disposition of certain foreign gifts.  Records obtained by the Committee show that during the Trump Administration, the White House Gift Office requested that NARA transfer a number of foreign gifts back from NARA’s custody to the White House.  The documents also revealed additional unreported foreign gifts for which NARA had no record.  The Committee is still seeking additional information about purchased gifts. 


Ranking Member Raskin is also seeking additional information from Secretary of State Antony Blinken on whether these and other gifts received during the Trump Administration may have been used by foreign governments to influence U.S. foreign policy.


Click here to read today’s report.


Click here to read the list of unreported gifts received by former President Trump.


Click here to read the list of unreported gifts received by former President Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump.


Click here to read the list of unreported gifts received by former First Lady Melania Trump and her child.


Click here to read the list of unreported gifts received by Jared Kushner.


Click here to read the list of unreported gifts received by Ivanka Trump and her children.


Click here to read the list of additional unreported foreign gifts from GSA’s records.


Click here to read additional documents and communications.


Click here to read the letter to the State Department.



118th Congress