Each year, the Department of State is required to report all gifts received by Federal Employees from Foreign Government Sources, including cigars. The report includes gifts given to Federal Employees throughout the Federal Government. On December 22, 2017, the Department of State released their 2016 report.
The report documents cigars, humidors, and cigar accessories given to Federal Employees. The table below summarizes each of these gifts.
|Name and title of person accepting the gift|
on behalf of the U.S. Government
|Gift, date of acceptance on behalf of the|
U.S. Government, estimated value, and current disposition or location
|Identity of foreign donor and government||Circumstances justifying acceptance|
|The Honorable Barack Obama,|
President of the United States.
|Bust of Abraham Lincoln, hand carved from wood, clothed in double-breasted jacket and bow tie, cut roughly at the base as if from a tree and gradual smoothing to a polished sculpting at the top of his head. Cigar humidor made of wood in the shape of a house entitled ‘‘La Casa de Tabaco’’. Bottle of rum. 205 cigars. Cigar cutter. Two books, title: Raul Castro. Music CD. Rec’d—4/9/2015. Est. Value—$384.79. Disposition—National Archives and Records Administration. Cigars and rum handled pursuant to U.S. Secret Service policy.||His Excellency Rau ́l Castro Ruz, President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba.||Non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. Government.|
|White House Staff Member, Ben Rhodes.||Ten cigars. Silver jewlery set with purple gemstones, including earrings and necklace. Music CD. Rec’d—2/8/2016. Est. Value—$670.00. Disposition— Transferred to General Services Administration. Cigars handled pursuant to U.S. Secret Service policy.||Government of the Republic of Cuba.||Non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. Government.|
|The Honorable John O. Brennan, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.||Cigars. Rec’d—2/9/2016. Est. Value—$500.00. Disposition— Pending transfer to General Services Administration.||5 U.S.C. 7342(f)(4)||Non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. Government.|
Note that one gift provided to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency refers to 5 U.S.Code. 7342(f)(4). This law exempts reporting of the source of the gift and states the following: “In transmitting such listings for an element of the intelligence community, the head of such element may delete the information if the head of such element certifies in writing to the Secretary of State that the publication of such information could adversely affect United States intelligence sources or methods.”
The cigars President Obama received were given to the U.S. Secret Service for disposal in accordance with their policy. I wonder what their policy is, perhaps destruction by fire one cigar at a time?
You can check out the full list of gifts HERE.