Saudi Arabia contributed 75 percent – in monetary value – of the total official gifts given to the Obama administration in 2014, according to government records .
Gifts given by the kingdom to President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, the couple's daughters and other administration officials valued $2,566,525 out of $3,417,559 total last year. Moreover, Arab countries accounted for nearly $3 million of the total gifts' value, or 87 percent.
Particularly interesting is Saudi Arabia's apparent preference for watches and clocks as a gift of choice, leading us to wonder if the kingdom thinks the Obama administration should keep better track of time?
Here's a list of many pricey timepieces presented by Saudi Arabia:
To Obama …
Gold and silver men's wristwatch with leather band. Rec’d—1/14/ 2014. Est. Value—$18,240.00
48′′ gold-plated brass replica of the Makkah Clock Tower on marble base. Rec’d—3/28/ 2014. Est. Value—$57,000.00
White gold men's wristwatch with leather band Rec'd 4/152014. Est. Value—$67,000.00
To White House staff ...
Silver wristwatch with leather band. Rec’d—1/5/2014. Est. Value—$19,628.00
Black and silver wristwatch with leather band. Rec’d—3/28/ 2014. Est. Value—$1,900.00
3 white gold wristwatches with link bracelet. Rec’d—3/28/2014. Est. Value—$8,170.00 each
To Secretary of State John Kerry ...
Palm tree statue encrusted with various gemstones. Rolex men’s Yacht Master II watch . Rec’d—1/5/2014. Est. Value— $36,900.00
Rolex Oyster Perpetual men’s silver watch with black face. Rec’d—3/28/2014. Est. Value— $5,700.00
Gold Cartier men’s watch with white face and black Roman numerals. Rec’d—9/11/2014. Est. Value—$17,400.00
Many additional watches all valuing well over $1,000 were given to various other government officials. Michelle Obama and Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of Secretary Kerry, also received thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.