Clintons Return White House Furniture

ByABC News
February 8, 2001, 2:43 PM

W A S H I N G T O N, Feb. 8 -- Former President Clinton and his wife, Sen.Hillary Rodham Clinton, have sent $28,000 worth of household goodsback to Washington after questions arose over whether the itemswere intended as personal gifts or donations to the White House.

We have been informed that it is being shipped back, and theNational Park Service is ready to receive it, take possession of itand take custody of it, Jim McDaniel, the National Park Servicesliaison to the White House, said Wednesday.

The property is being returned to government custody untilsuch time that the issues can be resolved. It may well turn outthat that property is rightly the personal property of theClintons.

Giving Back

After they were criticized for taking $190,000 worth of china,flatware, rugs, televisions, sofas and other gifts with them whenthey left, the Clintons announced last week that they would pay for$86,000 worth of gifts, or nearly half the amount.

Their latest decision to send back $28,000 in gifts brings to$114,000 the value of items the Clintons have either decided to payfor or return.

McDaniel discussed the matter Wednesday with Betty Monkman, theWhite House curator, and Gary Walters, the chief usher, orexecutive manager of the White House.

They were reviewing the gifts the Clintons chose to keep after$28,000 worth of items were found on a list of donations the ParkService received for the 1993 White House redecoration project. TheWashington Post this week quoted three people who said that theyassumed the furnishings they donated for the project would stay inthe White House.

As a result of questions about the status of certain propertydonated to the White House during the Clinton administration, theNational Park Service will accept the return of the property inquestion and act as a custodian of such property, according to astatement released by the Park Service, which administers the WhiteHouse as a unit of the national park system.