Hillary Clinton bristled during Saturday’s Democratic debate when she was asked about her role as First Lady, which put her in charge of the Clinton administration’s White House floral and dining arrangements.
But perhaps this Christmas season Clinton could actually return some of the items that she and her husband walked off with during their departure in 2001.
As the White House’s keyboards were losing their “W” buttons, so too was the First Lady making off with an historic haul in the form of gifts and presents from friends. Some actual White House artifacts ended up being part of the loot, according to Sally Bedell Smith, author of the 2007 book, For Love Of Politics.
“[The Clintons’] financial-disclosure forms revealed that they walked away with $190,027 worth of furniture, china, flatware, art, and other gifts, nearly half of it acquired in their final year. It also turned out that they took some property that actually belonged to the permanent White House collection.”
How did Clinton obtain these gifts, despite the fact that she was legally banned, as a United States Senator, from taking gifts over $50?
She took advantage of her status as First Lady to get around the rules, and claimed that she got the gifts at White House during Christmas time, days before she was sworn in to the Senate.
The Associated Press reported in 2001 that “as A Senator, Mrs. Clinton Is Prohibited From Accepting Most Gifts Worth More Than $50. But Since The Presents Arrived While She Still Was First Lady, No Such Limit Applied.”
Clinton also got a parting gift in the form of two coffee tables and two chairs – with a $7,375 value – from the ex-wife of last-minute Bill Clinton pardon recipient Mark Rich.