Golden golf clubs from Japan, swords and daggers from Saudi Arabia, a larger-than-life portrait from El Salvador: Former US President Donald Trump is said to have improperly accepted gifts from foreign governments worth more than $250,000 (more than 235,000 euros) during his tenure have stated.
A report released Friday by House Democrats spoke of more than 100 gifts given to Trump and his family during the Republican's tenure in the White House. Some of the gifts are still missing, according to the report, including a larger-than-life portrait of Donald Trump, a 2020 gift from the President of El Salvador.
A dagger given to Jared Kushner by the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2019 was particularly valuable at $24,000. According to the report, a Steiff teddy bear, which the then Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz gave to Ivanka Trump in 2019, cost $ 1,200.
The preliminary report, titled "Saudi Swords, Indian Jewels, and a Larger-Scale Salvadorian Portrait of Donald Trump: The Trump Administration's Failure to Disclose Large Gifts From Abroad," lists numerous gifts from China, India, Israel, Japan, Austria, among others , Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and from the United Arab Emirates.
The gifts went, among others, to Trump, his wife Melania, Trump's daughter Ivanka, her husband Jared Kushner - a key presidential adviser during Trump's tenure in the White House from 2017 to 2021 - and Trump's youngest son Barron.
Leading Democrat on the Oversight Committee, Jamie Raskin, accused the Trump administration of "blatant disregard for the rule of law and systematic mishandling of large gifts from foreign governments." The question arises whether the gifts served to influence Trump's foreign policy.
By law, the President must officially declare gifts to him and his family that are worth more than $415. Such gifts are owned by the US government. However, for more valuable personal gifts, the recipient has the option to buy them from the government and keep them, the report said. In any case, the incumbent must declare it publicly. However, that did not happen in Trump's case with regard to the gifts in question.
Meanwhile, after months of reluctance, Trump announced that he wanted to be active again on the largest online platforms. "I'm back," Trump wrote on Facebook on Friday for a short clip showing him winning the 2016 election. The world's largest online network let him back onto the platform at the end of January. Trump initially preferred, however, to reach out to supporters through his own Twitter copy, Truth Social.
Trump has since regained access to all major online services. The video platform YouTube lifted the restrictions on Trump's account on Friday. As justification, the world's largest video platform, which belongs to Google, pointed out that the Republican intends to run again in the 2024 presidential election. "We have carefully assessed the ongoing risk of violence in the real world, while also weighing the opportunity for voters to hear equally from key national candidates in the run-up to an election," it said.
Like other social media platforms, YouTube ordered a forced break for Trump's channel after the storming of the Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021. Supporters of the president, who was still in office at the time but had already been voted out, wanted to prevent the official confirmation of Joe Biden's election victory. They rioted in the congress building, five people lost their lives. Trump is accused of fueling the violence.
His Twitter account was reactivated by new owner Elon Musk last fall. Before and during the tenure in the White House, Twitter was the most important platform for Trump with more than 80 million followers at the end.
Opponents of the president's return to mainstream platforms point to comments made by the ex-president on Truth Social, which they believe are just as risky as those that originally got him banned from Twitter and other platforms.
"Kick-off" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, among others, or directly via RSS feed.