The state department has said it is investigating the apparent disappearance of a nearly $ 6,000 bottle of whiskey that the government of Japan gave to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo more than two years ago.
In a notice filed with the federal registry, the department said it could find no trace of the bottle’s whereabouts and that there is an “ongoing investigation” into what happened to the drink. The department reported the investigation in its annual report of gifts given to top US officials by foreign governments and leaders.
The department’s protocol office must record gifts given to US officials and track their disposition. Recipients have the option of delivering gifts of a certain value to the National Archives or other government entity or purchasing them for personal use by reimbursing the treasury department for their value.
The Japanese whiskey was valued at $ 5,800 and was introduced to Pompeo in June 2019, presumably when he visited the country that month for a Group of 20 summit also attended by President Donald Trump. But unlike other gifts, the department said there was no record of what became of the bottle.
“The department is investigating the matter and has an ongoing investigation,” it said in the federal registry notice. The notice did not offer additional details. A spokesman for Pompeo could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
The whiskey issue came to light in the state department’s annual accounting of gifts given to top US officials by foreign governments and leaders.
Pompeo also reported receiving two rugs worth a total of $ 19,400 from the President of Kazakhstan and the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates. Both floor coverings were transferred to the General Services Administration, the notice said.
The filing says that Trump and his wife, Melania, received more than $ 120,000 in gifts from foreign leaders in 2019, up from $ 88,200 the year before. In Trump’s first year in office, in 2017, they reported receiving more than $ 140,000 in gifts.
At least three foreign leaders, from Australia, Egypt and Vietnam, gave Trump photographs or portraits of himself that collectively were valued at more than $ 10,000.
Trump received a painting of himself in “double pane glass” from then-Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong that was worth an estimated $ 5,250, according to the filing. It also says that Trump obtained a “large double frame carved from black stone with the image of President Donald J. Trump in precious metal on one side and the coat of arms of Egypt on the reverse” worth $ 4,450 from Egyptian President Abdel- Fattah el-Sisi. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave Trump a framed photo of him and his wife worth $ 470.
Other more expensive gifts Trump received included an Ottoman Empire rifle valued at $ 8,500 from the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, a bronze sculpture of an Arabian horse of the Crown Prince of Bahrain worth $ 7,200 and a statue of gold, onyx, emeralds. and diamonds from an Arabian oryx. worth $ 6,300 from the Emir of Qatar.
All of those gifts, including the portraits and photography, were turned over to the National Archives, according to the report.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism