A giant portrait of former President Donald Trump that was offered to the White House by the president of El Salvador is among gifts totaling $300,000 that have either gone missing or unreported, according to Oversight Committee Democrats.
The portrait was presented as a gift from Salvadoran President Nayib. He forwarded it to the Trump-appointed ambassador to the country, Ron Johnson, a veteran CIA officer.
He sent along the image to an aide to to Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, writing that it was ‘packed up and ready to ship to President Trump.’
‘I just need to know where to ship it,’ Johnson added.
Trump aide Molly Michael asked ‘what is the best to ship to?’
Democrats on the House Oversight Committee released a report stating that former President Donald Trump and family members failed to report gifts totaling nearly $300,000
Kushner himself wrote, simply: ‘Can we take care of this – very nice.’
An image contained in an appendix shows the Salvadorian president giving a thumbs up next to a portrait of Trump which begins at the knees. The president’s head is slightly higher than the president’s making the portrait the size of a grown man.
Government rules require officials to report gifts received in official duties to the State Department, which retains them and records their value.
The Trump White House ‘failed to report over 100 foreign gifts that were given to the President and the First Family and were above the reporting threshold, including some gifts valued at thousands of dollars,’ according to the staff report, produced over a year by the committee where Rep. Jamie Raskin is now the top Democrat.
‘The Committee discovered 16 unreported gifts to the Trump family with a total value of more than $45,000, including three gifts to President Trump and one gift to the President and First Lady. The unreported gifts included a Saudi dagger valued at up to $24,000 and two sword sets with a total value of $8,800. General Services Administration (GSA) records showed that Mr. Kushner purchased and retained five Saudi gifts, including the dagger,’ according to the report.
According to the Democratic report, ‘There are no records of the painting’s disposition. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) had no records of this painting and GSA also had no records for the purchase of this gift.’
But transition documents ‘indicating that the Director of Correspondence for the Office of Donald J. Trump certified “full compliance with the final disposition of gifts” in April 2021, records obtained by the Committee suggest the portrait may have been moved to Florida as “property of the former President” in July 2021,’ the report suggests.
The document also references ‘reports’ of a $3,755 golf driver presented to Trump by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who died last year.
‘Federal Register listings showed zero foreign gifts reported for President Trump from Prime Minister Abe in 2017, 2018, or 2019, but internal White House records reveal that Prime Minister Abe gave additional golf clubs to President Trump during visits to the Trump International Golf Club and Kasumigaseki Country Club in 2017 and 2018,’ the staff reported, including a $460 putter and a #3,040 driver.
The Archives ‘has no records of these golf clubs and does not have the golf clubs in its custody. GSA also has no records of the golf clubs being purchased. The Committee is still seeking to determine the final disposition of these gifts,’ the report states.
But there may be errors. The report says the disposition of a gift to Kushner from Egypt remains ‘unknown.’
A footnote references ‘a box decorated in silver patterns with an estimated value of $450 received from Kamal Abbas, General Coordinator of the Center for Trade Unions & Workers’ Service in 2018.’
But a former official pointed to a government document stating that the box resides in Presidential Materials Division, with the name of the vault – 45 – and a box number.
It describes it as ‘personal gear, a rectangular box with a hinged lid and a certificate stating it is ‘pure silver.’ However markings in Arabic state that it is 90% silver.
‘The failures to disclose gifts from foreign governments were much broader than previously known and extended throughout the Trump Administration,’ according to the report.
The total included gifts totaling $48,000 from Saudi Arabia. The gifts came from a series of powerful leaders and governments.
‘The unreported foreign gifts include gifts from President Xi Jinping of China, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, and other foreign government officials,’ the report stated.
It came during a week when Oversight Chairman Rep. James Comer released bank information on a Hunter Biden associate, including a wire transfer showing Beau Biden widow Hallie Biden got $35,000 in transfers around the time a Hunter associate got $3 million from a Chinese firm.
‘Today’s preliminary findings suggest again the Trump Administration’s brazen disregard for the rule of law and its systematic mishandling of large gifts from foreign governments, including many lavish personalized gifts that vastly exceed the statutory limit in value, but were never reported—some that are still missing today,’ said Raskin.