Gifts Clintons returned were gov’t property


About US$28,000 worth of household items that former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton removed from the White House and then returned were government property, not personal gifts meant for them, the government has found.

“It appears that everything on the list is White House property,” said Jim McDaniel, speaking for the National Park Service, which conducted the examination. “I feel 99 percent certain that everything that’s been returned to us is government property.”

The Clintons returned 19 items — sofas, lamps, an easy chair, a kitchen table and other household goods — Wednesday after some donors said their gifts were for the White House, not the former first family. They were put on a truck in Chappaqua, New York, where the Clintons have a house, and shipped to a warehouse in suburban Maryland that stores White House items.

“The list of what came in has been checked against our files,” McDaniel said Thursday. “For the most part the objects that we received have corresponding letters on file from the park service accepting them as gifts for use in the White House.”

What remains unclear is why the items ended up with the Clintons.

The former president and Mrs. Clinton, a freshman Democratic senator from New York, declined to comment on the Park Service’s finding.