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Can President Trump Really Give Barron The Ball He Received From President Putin?

July 23, 2018

President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin may still be raising a lot of dust in the press, but it was not all bad as suggested in some quarters. In the spirit of good sport, the Russian President presented Trump with a World Cup soccer ball.

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The presentation was a symbolic handover of the hosting rights from Russia to the United States who recently won a joint bid for the 2026 global event. Accepting the ball, President Trump said he would give the ball to his son, Barron.

That will go to my son, Barron. We have no question.

The president then tried to toss the ball to his wife Melania for safekeeping until his return to the United States.

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While previous presidents have received gifts from foreign dignitaries, State Department protocol has guidelines that determine what the First Family can keep. The current threshold for gifts that the First Family can keep is set at $390. The big question now is can the president actually give the ball to Barron?

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The official 2018 World Cup ball sells for $165 on the Adidas website, and this figure is well below the $390 limit. However, the U.S. government is known to place a higher tag on gifts received by sitting presidents and their family members.

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Although the White House is yet to comment on whether or not Barron can keep the ball, another rule says the president can actually pay for the ball at “fair market value” after evaluation. What are the odds? And he will not be the first. Hillary Clinton bought a pearl necklace valued at $970 in 2012. It was a gift from Myanmar’s opposition leader at the time, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Some observers on social media feel that President Trump should pay for the ball if he really wants it for Barron. On the other hand, others suggest that the Russian president may have bugged the ball.

With the issues of election meddling and Russian interference still hot in the news, it is likely that the White House and U.S. government would take precautions with the ball, whether Barron gets to keep it or not.

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