10:43 AM PST, November 8, 2021
The U.S. State Department said a very expensive bottle of Japanese whiskey has seemingly disappeared from its “gift vault,” where items gifted to State Department officials are kept.
Because officials aren’t able to keep gifts valued over $390, they are instead stored in the vault, but recently a $5,800 of whiskey that was gifted to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from the government of Japan went missing.
A commemorative gold coin has also gone missing.
Pompeo never received the whiskey bottle. Pompeo was traveling in Saudi Arabia the day it was presented to State Department officials, The New York Times reported.
Through his lawyer William Burck, Pompeo told the Times he had no recollection of receiving the gift from Japan. He also said he did not know what happened to it and that there was a department inquiry into its whereabouts.
“I have no idea how the State Department lost this thing […]. Had it been a case of Diet Coke, I’d have been all over it,” Pompeo also told Fox News in a previous interview.
The bottle of whiskey was discovered to be missing this summer. The gift vault security protocol has been updated to prevent future disappearances, according to reports.
State Department officials are allowed to keep items more expensive than the $390 limit if they purchase it at its appraised value from the Treasury Department.
They are also allowed to donate gifts they’ve received to the National Archives.