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The State Department is investigating whether Trump appointees stole gift bags intended for foreign leaders from the canceled 2020 G7 summit, report says

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The U.S. Department of State is seen on January 6, 2020 in Washington, DC.
The U.S. Department of State is seen on January 6, 2020 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
  • The State Dept. is reportedly probing whether Trump officials took gifts meant for foreign leaders.

  • Officials reportedly saw some taking the bags, which were made for the canceled 2020 G7 summit.

  • The bags had "leather portfolios, pewter trays and marble trinket boxes," The New York Times said.

The State Department's internal watchdog is investigating whether Trump-era appointees stole gift bags on their way out the door that were meant for foreign leaders attending the 2020 G7 summit, which was canceled, The New York Times reported.

The Times uncovered the previously unreported inquiry from the Office of the Inspector General at the State Department as part of a larger investigation, published on Monday, into missing gifts from foreign leaders and items that were intended to be given to them during the Trump administration.

Nonpartisan career officials said they saw their political-appointee colleagues making off with the bags, paid for at taxpayers' 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 to foreign leaders at the G7 summit that the US was supposed to host in person at Camp David in June 2020. It was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic and replaced with a series of virtual meetings.

The missing bags included "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.

A spokesperson for the Office of the Inspector General declined to comment when Insider asked to confirm the existence of the probe.

In all, Politico reported 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 from the vault or unaccounted for, The Times said.

The department's other investigations into still missing items include an inquiry into a $5,800 bottle of Japanese whisky intended for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which Pompeo said he never received, and a 22-karat gold coin from Vietnam meant for former national security advisor John Bolton, The Times said.

The Times added 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. Jared Kushner later reimbursed the US government for the dagger and other gifts, which had an estimated cost of nearly $48,000.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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