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Records of White House gifts for missing Trump and Pence, State Department says


WASHINGTON — The State Department said it was unable to compile a complete and accurate tally of gifts presented to former President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials by foreign governments during the Trump’s final year in office, citing missing White House data.

In a report to be published in the Federal Register next week, the department says the president’s executive office did not submit information about gifts received by Trump and his family from foreign leaders in 2020. It also indicates that the General Services Administration did not submit information on gifts given to former Vice President Mike Pence and White House staffers that year.

The State Department said it sought the missing information from the National Archives and Records Administration and the General Services Administration, but was told that ‘potentially relevant documents’ are not available due to restrictions. of access linked to the documents withdrawn.

The State Department’s Office of Protocol flagged the situation in footnotes to a partial list of gifts received by U.S. officials in 2020. The office releases these lists annually in part to guard against conflict. potential interests. A preview of the 2020 report was posted Friday on the Federal Register website ahead of its official release on Monday.

The report notes that the lack of information about the gifts could be linked to internal oversights, as the protocol office neglected to “submit the data request to all reporting agencies by January 20, 2021”, when the Trump administration has ended and the Biden administration has begun. However, he also noted that there had been a “lack of adequate record keeping regarding diplomatic gifts” between January 20, 2017, when Trump took office, and his departure from the White House four years later.

The State Department report comes as House lawmakers have opened an investigation into reports that Trump took boxes of classified documents with him to his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida after leaving office. Last year. The National Archives and Records Administration has asked the Department of Justice to look into the matter.

The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 uprising on Capitol Hill, meanwhile, identified a nearly 8-hour discrepancy in official White House recordings of Trump’s phone calls as the violence unfolded and that his followers were storming the building, according to two people familiar with the probe.

Regarding the 2020 gifts, the department said it had “made attempts to collect the required data from current authoritative sources … but confirmed that potentially relevant records are not available to the Office of the Chief of Protocol. of the Department of State under applicable access rules for records removed from the Executive Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President.

“As a result, the data needed to fully compile a comprehensive list for 2020 is not available,” he said.

Records of gifts for Trump administration officials such as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Defense Secretary Mark Esper and former Central Intelligence Agency chief Gina Haspel are included in the report limited from 2020, as are recordings of other senior diplomats, Pentagon, and CIA officials.

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