On April 23rd, 2018 the French President Emmanuel Macron presented President Donald Trump with an oak sapling.
French Pres. Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte, joined Pres.Trump and first lady Melania Trump to plant a tree on the White House's South Lawn. The European sessile oak, which comes from the site of the Battle of Belleau Wood, is a gift from Macron. https://t.co/tu6l17Hrm4 pic.twitter.com/Au4uKD8Ra4
— CNN (@CNN) April 23, 2018
According to The Washington Times that sapling is now missing
The oak sapling had come from Belleau Wood where 2000 American soldiers lost there lives in a World War One battle.
The official word is the tree has simply been moved to quarantine according to Reuters:
“Since then, it has returned to quarantine and will soon be replanted in the White House gardens,” the official said, adding: “Don’t worry, the tree is doing very well.”
Government rules prevent a President or any government agency employee keeping gifts that cost more than $390.00, according to the The Committee on Ethics website.
In accordance with the federal rule about receiving gifts, these gifts, after the thank you’s and photos have been taken are whisked away by a little known government office in the State Department called the “Protocol Gift Unit.” It is this unit that passes the item onto the National Archives where the item is appraised, logged for public record, and stores the gifts for safekeeping.
Over the years Presidents have received both unique and almost gag-like gifts.
Last year, Foreign Policy reported 8 of the “weirdest gifts” that Foreign Dignitaries have given to our Presidents.
They range from a three-foot jewel encrusted sword all the way to a real live puppy.
In 2006 Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov presented then President George W. Bush, with a puppy. The Bulgarian Goran shepherd was two-months, named Balkan of Gorannadraganov, or Balkan for short, was valued at $430.00. Given that it was a live puppy, it could not stay in the ‘Archive,’ the Bushes purchased the puppy and gave the puppy a new home with unnamed friends in Maryland.
GW was not the only Bush to receive a live animal from a foreign President. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush was gifted by the Indonesia leader, a Komodo Dragon. The dargon named Naga, was swiftly gifted to the Cincinnati Zoo, where he went on to father 32 babies, passing way in 2004.