DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Funny

Bush Got Weapons From Jordan

Collectibles, DVDs, bling highlight foreign leader gift list

View Document

List Of Foreign Gifts to The Bush White House

JUNE 15--President George W. Bush received a $10,000 sniper's rifle, six jars of fertilizer, 11 antique handguns, ten pounds of dates, and a DVD of "Singin' in the Rain" from various foreign leaders, according to a report filed today by the U.S. Department of State. The annual report from the Office of Protocol, excerpts from which you'll find at left, covers gifts provided in 2004 to federal employees by "foreign government sources."

Included in Bush's haul (which gets sent to a government archive) were assorted Dallas Cowboys merchandise from Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar, a $125 braided leather whip from the Hungarian prime minister, and a copy of "The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook" from the Sultan of Brunei. The Asian leader also gave Bush DVDs of "Singin' in the Rain" and "To Kill a Mockingbird." Jordan's King Abdullah gave Bush $12,000 worth of antique weapons, including a pistol dating to 1780, and a $10,000 Dakota Arms sniper's rifle. He also provided the president with six jars of "various fertilizers" valued at $60.

As the State Department report notes, the circumstance "justifying acceptance" of these foreign gifts is "non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. Government." The Tunisian president gave Bush $60 worth of dates. First Lady Laura Bush received an $1150 Chanel purse from the French president's wife and a $12,500 Mounier & Bouvard clutch from the King of Morocco.

Vice President Dick Cheney scored a $400 set of white gold cufflinks "with Arabic lettering symbolizing good fortune and health" from the Jordanian king, while former Secretary of State Colin Powell received a Bulgari necklace set from Saudi Arabia's Prince Faisal. At $24,500, the gold and diamond jewelry was the most valuable gift from a foreign official.

While Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld received some nice bottles of wine, his most unique gift came from Jordan's King and Queen, who gave Rummy a $380 aromatherapy gift set. Though Rumsfeld could surely use the aromatic relaxation, the item was transferred to the General Services Administration. (11 pages)