Aside from being the leader of the free world, the title of president comes with a less-considered perk: gifts. Sure, there is a $390 limit under the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act—paltry for the typically showy Trump—but the president has already collected a haul worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. (Plot twist: the gifts technically aren't his. POTUS accepts gifts on behalf of the American people and can only keep them after his tenure if he buys them at market value, otherwise they're placed in the National Archives.)
As we take a look back at the anything-but-traditional first year of the Trump administration, let's review all the (known) presents that the president and first lady have given and received since the election alone—from a personalized Super Bowl ring to, yes, a golden golf club.
Since George H.W. Bush's inauguration, Lenox has designed an engraved crystal bowl for the incoming president. Last year's bowls were given to the president and vice president by Senate Republican Conference Chairman Roy Blunt. According to Lenox, "the team of experts work for months to create a gift that encapsulates the spirit of the American people and the new presidency."
In one of the most awkward presidential exchanges to date, new First Lady Melania Trump handed outgoing First Lady Michelle Obama a Tiffany & Co. box on the day of Trump's inauguration. But the question still remains: What was in the box?
Gift exchanges among foreign leaders have been a thing for centuries, and are now expected between heads of state when visiting each other's countries. British Prime Minister Theresa May presented Trump with a quaich—a traditional Scottish cup that symbolizes welcome and friendship. May was one of the first foreign leaders to visit Trump following his inauguration.
In return, Trump gave British Prime Minister Theresa May a framed picture of Abraham Lincoln at his second inauguration in 1865. The same bible pictured with Lincoln was used during Trump's own swearing-in last year.
May also decided to present Melania Trump with a hamper of produce from Chequers, the prime minister's country residence (pictured above).
During a trip to the Vatican earlier this year, the Pope gifted the President with his own encyclical—a papal document sent within the Catholic church—urging governments to address climate change. Subtle. The letter is named, "Laudato Si" or “Praise Be to You,” after a song to nature Saint Francis wrote 800 years ago.
The Pope also gave the President a large medallion depicting an olive branch as a symbol of peace.
President Trump gave Pope Francis a collection of custom-bound Martin Luther King Jr. writings: Stride Toward Freedom (1958), The Measure of a Man (1959), The Strength to Love (1963), Why We Can't Wait (1964), and Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (1967). While the White House said the gift "honors Dr. King’s hope, vision, and inspiration for generations to come,” many found the choice pretty ironic. In the past, President Obama gave the Pope seeds from the White House garden as well as a 206-year-old key from the home of Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first native-born American to be declared a saint.
When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Trump at the White House in June, he gifted POTUS with a wooden chest along with a folio adorned with a 1965 Indian postage stamp marking the death of Abraham Lincoln. The folio reportedly contains a detailed outline of similarities between former president Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi.
Additionally, Modi gave Melania Trump with two shawls and a hamper consisting of a bracelet, honey, and tea.
...and 80 more souvenirs. The Daily Beast obtained reports from the U.S. Department of State that estimates the President received a grand total of 83 gifts from Saudi Arabia during his trip to the middle east in May. You can view the full list of gifts—from cashmere headscarfs to artwork to ammo belts—here.
Before Trump decided to boycott football, he received a personalized Super Bowl ring and jersey from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on the team's official visit to the White House following their Super Bowl victory. It's unknown how much the personalized ring is worth, but the Patriots' 2015 rings cost $36,500 each.
In November 2016, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe visited Trump Tower and gave the then-president-elect a $3,755 golf club. For all of you duffers out there, the club is a Honma Beres S-05 with 9.5 degrees of loft with a 5S Armrq Infinity stiff shaft. (In other words, very fancy.)
Trump found it in its heart to gift the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe with a stay at Mar-a-Lago—Trump's Palm Beach resort—back in February, though it raised ethical concerns about how the trip would be funded. Reportedly, Trump paid for Abe's stay out of his own pocket. In keeping with the sporty theme, during their November meeting, Trump gave Abe "golf goods including golf shirts."
When Trump met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau back in February, Trudeau gifted him with a photo of Trump delivering a speech in 1981 to honor Trudeau's father, former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. The photo was taken at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in NYC when Trudeau Sr. was presented with the Family of Man Gold Medallion award. It was a "great gift," according to the President.
Trump received a bowl of shamrocks from Taoiseach Enda Kenny of Ireland for a—wait for it—St. Patrick's Day reception in March.
And perhaps the best gift of them all, President Trump gave the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a compliment on his shoes, which was captured in an audio recording during their meeting in May. "Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes. Man..."