Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci might want to check his sources, because he produced a bit of fake news this week in regards to President Trump, Robert Kraft, and a Patriots Super Bowl ring.
In a Twitter conversation, Scaramucci wrote, “Bob Kraff just gave the president the ring for last years game . . . the [Vladimir] Putin ring is long gone,” which many took to mean that Kraft gave Trump his personal ring from the Patriots’ victory this past February in Super Bowl LI.
That was not quite accurate. Per Patriots spokesman Stacey James, the Patriots did, in fact, give Trump a championship ring, but they had one specially made for him, engraved with Trump’s name.
Scaramucci, in a tweet Tuesday afternoon, acknowledged the ring Trump received wasn’t Kraft’s.
Kraft and Trump have been neighbors in Palm Beach for years, and Kraft has stated that their friendship grew closer in 2011 when Trump supported Kraft following the death of Kraft’s long-time wife, Myra.
And when the Patriots visited the White House in April, they were impressed with the hospitality shown by Trump and his administration. Though this was the Patriots’ fifth visit to the White House, this was the first time that they were given tours of the Oval Office, living quarters, and most of the building.
The Patriots gave Trump the customary jersey and helmet that the team always brings as a gift for the president.
Trump, who is also friends with coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, commented that day that he was excited to have the Patriots be the first team to visit him in his presidency, and that he planned to display the Patriots artifacts one day in his presidential library.
But given Kraft’s relationship with Trump and the first-class treatment the team received that day, Kraft decided to do Trump one better, and had a championship ring specially made for him to be displayed in his library.
It is unclear when Trump actually received the ring, and whether he received the same ring that the players did. The Patriots also give championship rings to every employee in the organization, but those rings are not as expensive as the player rings.
Patriots players were presented with their championship rings in June during a ceremony at Kraft’s home.
The players’ version of the ring, designed by jeweler Jostens, is quite valuable.
It is the “largest Super Bowl ring ever created,” according to the team. Crafted in 10-karat white gold, each ring has a carat weight of 5.1 and features 283 diamonds. (The Pats famously trailed 28-3 late in the game before mounting an unprecedented comeback.)
While officials in other government offices are barred from accepting certain gifts, US presidents are generally free to accept unsolicited personal gifts, though gifts from foreign governments or foreign officials come with certain restrictions.
Still, presidents are required to annually disclose gifts valued over a certain amount; the current threshold is $390, government ethics researchers said.
Trump will be required to make his first gift disclosure in May 2018, according to officials from the Office of Government Ethics.
It’s not unusual for presidents to receive gifts, including jerseys and helmets, from title-winning teams that visit the White House.
Rings aren’t an unprecedented present either.
The Carolina Hurricanes, after winning the 2006 Stanley Cup, presented then-President George W. Bush with a championship ring during a celebratory visit to the White House.
In 1989, the owner of the San Francisco 49ers — during a White House visit after winning the Super Bowl — told then-President George H. W. Bush he would be presented with a championship ring, the Associated Press reported.
Other recipients of Patriots championship rings have made headlines over the years.
Kraft has repeatedly said that Russian President Vladimir Putin pocketed a Super Bowl ring when he visited St. Petersburg in 2005. Putin officials have denied Kraft’s version of what went down, saying that the ring was given to Putin as a gift.
Kraft also surprised Brady’s mother, Galynn Brady, with a ring after the most recent Super Bowl win. She has been battling cancer recently, though Tom Brady Sr. told the Globe recently that Galynn concluded her cancer treatments in April.Ben Volin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin.