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 October 12, 2016, the Department of State released their 2015 report. The report includes some gifts from prior years that were reported late.
The report documents cigars, humidors, and cigar accessories given to Federal Employees. As you would expect, Cuba gave the most cigars to Federal Employees, including eight boxes of cigars to President Obama. Damn, I guess my invite to smoke a stogie with El Presidente got lost in the mail. 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.
|Seven boxes of cigars. Received: 12/09/2015. Estimated Value: $4,158. Disposition: 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 Barack Obama, President of the United States, and Mrs. Michelle Obama.||Ten CDs of Cuban music with CD rack. Long-sleeved button down linen Guyaybera shirt. Four bottles of spirits. Box of cigars with lighter. Wooden humidor. Four bottles of floral fragrances. Received: 04/11/2015. Estimated Value: $1,193.57. Disposition: National Archives and Records Administration. Liquids, cigars, lighter, and humidor handled pursuant to U.S. Secret Service policy.||His Excellency Raul Castro Ruz, President of the Republic of Cuba.||Non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. Government.|
|The Honorable John Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States.||Box of Montecristo Cuban cigars with matches, cutter, and humidor. Received: 08/14/2015. Estimated Value: $450.00. Disposition: Retained by the U.S. Diplomacy Center for official display.||His Excellency Bruno Rodrıguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs 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.||Box of cigars. Received: 08/30/2015. Estimated Value: $1,500.00. Disposition: Perishable items handled pursuant to the guidelines set forth by General Services Administration.||5 U.S.C. 7342(f)(4)||Non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. Government.|
|General Lloyd Austin III, Commander of U.S. Central Command.||Wooden humidor. Cohiba cigars. Received: 05/1/2013. Estimated Value: $1,582.50. Disposition: Transferred to General Services Administration.||His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.||Non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. Government.|
|The Honorable John F. Kerry, Senator of the United States.||Bagrationi Gonio Eniseli brandy with cigar. Received: 01/31/2012. Estimated Value: $100.00. Disposition: Deposited with the Secretary of the Senate.||His Excellency Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia.||Non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. Government.|
|The Honorable Marco Rubio, Senator of the United States.||Davidoff cigars. Received: 05/28/ 2012. Estimated Value: $135.00. Disposition: Deposited with the Secretary of the Senate.||Mr. Jason Yuan, Taiwan Representative to the United States and Head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office.||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.”
President Obama received cigars multiple times and the U.S. Secret Service disposed of the cigars in accordance with their policy, which hopefully is to smoke them!
You can check out the full list of gifts HERE.