What kind of gift would President Donald Trump impress? For Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the answer was: a gold-framed portrait of Donald Trump.
The State Department released a list of gifts given by foreign governments to Trump and other U.S. officials in 2018 on Monday. The report provides a snapshot of how Trump's colleagues are falsifying his favor, and a sometimes amusing report of how the US government is responding.
Frenchman Emmanuel Macron gave Trump a Louis Vuitton golf bag and some photos totaling $ 8,275. The Mayor of Davos, Switzerland, gave him a hickory golf putter ($ 450). The portrait from Vietnam was valued at $ 3,100. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have transferred whatever they have received to the National Archives under U.S. law.
The government treats some gifts less kindly. The intelligence agency destroyed a watch the Crown Prince of Bahrain Vice President Mike Pence gave, possibly out of concern that it might be a secret surveillance device. Multiple watches given to CIA agents will suffer the same fate.
Trump's daughter and son-in-law Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner bought bracelets worth $ 3,185 from the Queen of Jordan to keep. According to the report, it was the only gift Ivanka Trump received while Kushner transferred two more items to the archives.
A White House spokeswoman referred a request for comment to the State Department, which did not respond immediately.
Trump's gifts also included black leather boots from former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ($ 545); a rectangular block of stone that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ($ 600); Sterling cufflinks with a purple ruby by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte ($ 465); a collection box for the FIFA World Cup by Russian President Vladimir Putin ($ 1,500); a vase by Chinese President Xi Jinping ($ 2,100); and a marble sculpture of a Beluga whale by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ($ 470).
The watch that Pence had to lose was given to him by the Crown Prince of Bahrain, Salman Al Khalifa, according to the report in November 2017. The watch was made by William & Son of London, stylized with the Bahrain flag and valued at $ 5,730.
"Disposition – Destroyed according to USSS guidelines," the report says without going into more detail. A total of nine watches, including luxury brands such as Rado and Omega, which were handed over to six unidentified CIA agents, are also to be destroyed.
The Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump is expanding transportation during a visit to India this week. On Monday he received a framed picture of himself and the first lady in the Taj Mahal.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)