Trump White House staffers ordered room service on the Saudi government's dime because they didn't know it was illegal: book

The Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and Saudi King Salman visited a new Global Center for Combating Extrist Ideology in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia). Saudi Press Agency
Trump White House staffers who were on a trip in Saudi Arabia had their meals and rooms covered by their hosts.

According to Stephanie Grisham, a former White House aide, most people were not aware that this was a violation federal law.

Grisham said that Jared Kushner's staff received "Rolex watches" as well as "ornamental blades" from him.

Check out more stories from Insider's business page.

Former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham reveals that Trump's 2017 Saudi Arabia trip saw White House staffers violating federal law by accepting gifts from their hosts and failing to declare them. Insider was able to obtain an early copy of her memoir.

"The rooms were paid by the Saudi government," Grisham wrote. "We were told that we could order any item on the room service menu."

Although this would seem to be against the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act (FDA), Grisham recalls that many of the staff members for the former president's first overseas trip were not aware of the basic protocol.

"It was the only and first time that this happened because we found out that it was against rules," Grisham said. "I don’t know if staff rooms were paid for by the state department, but I believe they did."

Normally, US personnel are trained in foreign gift reporting and must be vigilant.

"I'll take your questions now" Grisham wrote that "At that time we didn’t know, and maybe didn’t care, that it wasn’t allowed and that any gifts we received had to be reported so that they could be valued before we were allowed to buy them."

Melania Trump called her former chief of staff "a deceitful, troubled individual" and the former president and first lady condemned the book.

Melania's office stated in a statement that "The author is desperate to rehabilitate its tarnished reputation through manipulating and distorting truth about Mrs. Trump."

Continue the story

Jared Kushner was Trump's son in law and one of his most influential figures. Grisham snubbed him in the Saudi passage of her book. She called him "Rasputin dressed in a tight-fitting suit."

She continued, "I don't know what the final result was or if it was true, but I do recall some people talking about Jared and his staff having been gifted Rolex watches and ornamental swords as well as various textiles."

Business Insider has the original article.