US President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman al-Saud take part in a bilateral meeting at a hotel in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. ( AFP/Getty Images )
President Donald Trump and his family received gifts worth more than $140,000 from foreign leaders during his first year in the White House.
China and Saudi Arabia were among the most opulent givers in 2017. Chinese President Xi Jinping gave Mr Trump and first lady Melania Trump a $14,000 ornate calligraphy display and a presentation box, and a $16,250 porcelain dinnerware set, the Associated Press reported. The dinnerware set features plates imprinted with Mr Trump’s pink house at the Mar-a-Lago resort.
Arab leaders, including the Saudis, gave $24,120 worth of gifts to the Trump family. Some of these gifts include $6,400 ruby and emerald pendant necklace from Saudi King Salman and a $4,850 gold-plated fighter jet model from Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad. The Trumps also received a $3,700 bronze statues of three oryx, an antelope native to the Arabian peninsula, from Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, $1,160 worth of gold coins from Kuwaiti’s emir and a $1,260 “roya” perfume from packaged in reptile-skin from the deputy prime minister of Oman.
The first family were also given a $4,500 personalised hardcover Psalms book from the rabbi responsible for overseeing the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The Church of Holy Sepulchre gave a pendant and a gold and diamond necklace estimated to be worth around $5,800 and the Greek Orthodox patriarch of the holy city gave a mother-of-pearl Nativity scene valued at $4,200.
Before Mr Trump’s controversial embassy move to Jerusalem, Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas gave the president and the first lady several generous offerings: a replica of the neo-Byzantine Nativity scene and a portrait of Ms Trump and with a total estimated worth of $6,770.
European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, also gave opulent gifts to the first family. Ms Merkel gave $5,264 Mont Blanc pens and stationary and Mr Macron gave a 1783 map of the United States with an estimated value of $1,100.
Other leaders offered gifts designed to stroke Mr Trump’s ego. For instance, the Vietnamese prime minister gave the president a $1,880 gemstone portrait of Trump positioned in front of the American flag and Polish President Andrzej Duda gave him a “President Donald J. Trump in New York” photo album. The photo album, valued at $850, includes black and white photos of the president and polychrome photos of Trump Tower.
The first lady also received clothes, art, jewellery and accessories as gifts. The wife of the Japanese prime minister presented Ms Trump with a pair of Mikimoto diamond and pearl earrings worth $2,200 and a $3,000 gold acrylic painting. Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni gave Ms Trump and $3,400 Ferragamo handbag.
Ivanka, the president’s daughter, received an $1,023 Delvaux handbag from the Belgian head of state. The Saudi government also gave Ms Trump and the first lady a number of elegant embroidered clothing, including an abaya valued at $1,500.
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Jared Kushner, the first daughter’s husband, was only given six gifts from foreign diplomats in 2017. The most expensive gift he received was a $3,360 fountain pen from Jordanian King Abdullah II.
Gifts given to the first family were turned over to the National Archives.
The State Department’s Office of Protocol is expected to publish a 64-page list detailing all gifts, including its estimated values, in the Federal Register on Thursday.