When he visited the White House last week, Kanye West didn’t just leave behind a bunch of selfies and some Very Deep Thoughts — he gave his hosts some pretty sweet kicks to remember him by. West showed up at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with at least six boxes containing pairs of Yeezys, the athletic shoes he created for Adidas, presumably to offer up as gifts to Trump and others.
And these aren’t just any old sneaks: Yeezys retail for hundreds of dollars. Which led us to wonder whether it’s okay for the president and his staff to keep such a generous present.
We checked in with ethics expert Jan Baran, whose short answer was: Yep, but handling Ye’s generosity might require a little paperwork. The president and vice president aren’t actually subject to any gift restrictions, he explained, although anything they receive that’s worth more than $375 has to be reported on annual disclosure forms.
White House employees are barred from taking most gifts from lobbyists, people with business before the White House or foreign officials. West does not appear to fall into those categories, Baran said. His visit was “a very strange social interaction” rather than a business meeting, he noted.
The West Wing staffers might have to report such gifts, and they might have to be checked out by the White House counsel, but otherwise, the Yeezys seem to pass muster.
Trump isn’t the only world leader who West has showered with sneakers lately — he and wife Kim Kardashian gave Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni a signed pair after the couple met with him in Entebbe on Monday.
So now the question is whether Trump will actually sport the trendy shoes anytime soon.