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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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China and Russia vaccinate the world — for now

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. and Europe focus on vaccinating their own populations, China and Russia are sending millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world.

Why it matters: China's double success in controlling its domestic outbreak and producing several viable vaccines has allowed it to focus on providing doses abroad — an effort that could help to save lives across several continents.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Report: China will dominate AI unless U.S. invests more

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S., which once had a dominant head start in artificial intelligence, now has just a few year's lead on China and risks being overtaken unless government steps in, according to a new report to Congress and the White House.

Why it matters: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that issued the report, tells Axios that the U.S. risks dire consequences if it fails to both invest in key technologies and fully integrate AI into the military.

Americans agree about more issues than they realize

Data: Populace Inc.; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Many Americans assume the rest of the country doesn't share their political and policy priorities — but they're often wrong, according to new polling by Populace, first seen by Axios.

Why it matters: The polling reveals that despite growing political polarization, Americans share similar long-term goals and priorities for the country.