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Monday, October 25, 2021

Donald Trump gifted robes made of fake tiger and cheetah fur by Saudi royal family

It was not until the gifts from the oil-rich kingdom made it to the US Fish and Wildlife Service this summer did officials realise they were not real.

“Wildlife inspectors and special agents determined the linings of the robes were dyed to mimic tiger and cheetah patterns and were not comprised of protected species,” said Tyler Cherry, a spokesman for the Interior Department, which oversees the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The State Department recently disclosed a list of 82 gifts from the Saudis to Trump administration officials on the trip in response to a Freedom of Information Act. The gifts ranged from relatively low-cost sandals and scarves to expensive ones like furs and daggers.

Officials at the Saudi Embassy in Washington declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Mr Trump did not return a message seeking comment.

The saga highlights how the Trump administration would at times shield itself from scrutiny from other governmental departments, leaving it open to accusations of impropriety in dealing with foreign nations.

The State Department’s inspector general continues to pursue the whereabouts of a $5,800 (£4,200) bottle of whiskey from the Japanese government given to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who claims he never received it.

They are investigating allegations that Mr Trump’s political appointees walked off with gift bags worth thousands of dollars that were meant for foreign leaders at the G7 summit planned for Camp David in 2020, which was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The bags contained dozens of items purchased with government funds, including leather portfolios and marble trinket boxes emblazoned with the presidential seal.

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