Clintons Will Pay for Some Gifts

Former President Clinton and his wife, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, say they'll pay back people who gave them more than $86,000 worth of gifts last year.

The gifts include a controversial $7,375 table from Denise Rich, ex-wife of fugitive billionaire Marc Rich, whom the president pardoned on his last full day in office last month, $4,920 worth of china from Hollywood movie producer Steven Spielberg and his wife and a painting of Clinton’s dog, Buddy, valued at $300.

"It was right for them to pay for the DVD player, and the tables, and the flatware and the china," said Gary Ruskin of the Congressional Accountability Project. "That was right thing to do."

But the payback doesn’t include approximately $104,000 in other gifts the Clintons were given in other years during the eight-year presidency, but didn’t formally accept until last year.

“To eliminate even the slightest question, we are taking the stop of paying for gifts given to us in 2000,” the Clintons said in a statement sent to news organizations Friday (see below).

$190,000 Worth Initially Disclosed

On Clinton's final day in office, he disclosed more than $190,000 worth of presents that he and then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton were taking with them.

Upon leaving the White House with nearly $200,000 worth of presents, the Clintons faced accusations of unseemly behavior, and placing personal gain above the national interest. (See related stories and list at right.)

Their defenders said what they did was no worse than some previous presidents, including Reagan, who received a house and other valuable property from friends upon leaving office.

But while accepting the gifts may not have been illegal, some say it was bound to rub some people the wrong way.

"It may not be criminal," said Daniel Schorr, a political analyst. "It may not be, even if you study it, entirely unethical. But it is their sense of terminal tackiness."

Could Not Have Accepted Gifts As Senator

In addition, Mrs. Clinton faced loud critiques for accepting gifts that, as a senator, she would be forbidden from taking under ethics rules governing behavior in Congress’ upper house.

"It would have been an open and shut case," Ruskin said. "These gifts would not have been allowed, and that's that."

Added Daniel Schorr, a political analyst, "She has a record to make and this is damaging to her record."

In the Friday statement announcing the Clintons would return the gifts, Hillary Clinton said, “As New York’s junior senator, I intend to focus all my energies on serving the interests of my constituents.”

Slight Discrepancies

While the gifts noted in tonight’s list add up to a value of $86,016, the total value listed on the Clintons’ statement is $50 less: $85,966.

Another discrepancy is that their disclosure statement lists various items from Mr. and Mrs. Wallter Kaye of New York as being worth $9,683, while the statement released tonight is missing a humidor from them listed in the disclosure and values the Kayes' gifts at $9,433, or $250 less.

The one gift they will not pay back from last year is an $800 Duke Elilngton photograph the Clintons said they donated to the Duke Ellington School in Washington, D.C.

Included in gifts they will not reimburse from previous years are a $38,000 Dale Chihuly basket set from the Georgetown alumni, class of 1968 and a $650 watercolor of the Clinton "ancestral homeland" from Barbara Allen of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

ABCNEWS' Jim Sciutto contributed to this report.

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