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Katsumi Kasahara, Charles Dharapak, Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Evan Vucci / AP

As Trump experienced this week, part of the perks of being POTUS include lavish gifts from foreign leaders. Unfortunately, presidents don't get to just keep those gifts.

  • The rules: In 1966, Congress instated a rule that prevents the president, from accepting gifts worth more than a certain amount from foreign governments. As of 2014, that amount is $375. Gifts worth more than that go to the National Archives.
  • The catch: The president or any diplomats are able to keep gifts worth more than $375 if they pay the market price for it, which is rarely done, although Hillary Clinton paid $970 for a black pearl necklace given to her by the Myanmar opposition leader. With Trump being the richest U.S. president yet, he could easily afford to buy some of the foreign gifts presented to him if he chooses to.
  • The most extravagant giver: Saudi Arabia by far has given the most costly gifts, sometimes costing more than half a million dollars.

Here's some of the wildest gifts, according to the National Archives, the Atlantic, Foreign Policy and NBC News:

Living animals:

  • Theodore Roosevelt got a zebra and a lion from Ethiopia.
  • Richard Nixon got a panda from China.
  • George W. Bush was given a puppy from Bulgaria, which he ended up giving to a family in Maryland as the puppy couldn't be archived.
  • Bush also got a Komodo dragon from Indonesia, which he gifted to the Cincinnati zoo.

Non-living animals

  • And the president of Tanzania gave him a stuffed leopard and lion.
  • George W. Bush received 300 pounds of raw lamb from Argentina.

Home decor:

  • The leader of Azerbaijan gave Bill Clinton an oriental carpet... with large portraits of Bill and Hillary woven into it.
  • He also got a gold mechanical bird that "tweets, turns, and flaps its wings once per hour," according to the archive entry, and priced at $110K from Qatar.
  • He also received a fancy, personalized ping pong table from the British Prime Minister.

Practical:

  • Obama was given crocodile insurance, which entitled Michelle to 50,000 Australian dollars if Barack was attacked by a crocodile. This obviously came from Australia. "I have to admit, when we reformed health care in America, crocodile insurance is one thing we left out," Obama said, according to FP.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson was given a Burberry coat from the U.K., but it was the wrong size and his aides had to rush to exchange it.
  • Obama was given a gold and gem-encrusted sword from Saudi Arabia.

Go deeper

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Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

8 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.