Americans looking to prematurely commemorate the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court (Senator Lindsey Graham, perhaps?) are in luck: The White House Gift Shop has a 24-karat gold-plated coin available for preorder, and it will only set you back $175.
But this is not the most interesting bit of info to be culled from Vox’s piece on the White House Gift Shop, which one could be forgiven for assuming is connected to the actual White House.
> You might have assumed, as I did, that the gift shop was the last thing you did on one of those guided tours of the White House, the place where you buy, like, a mug with a picture of an American flag on it. Turns out, it’s more like a janky online store run by a rather enigmatic CEO with vague ties to the Secret Service where you can spend hundreds of dollars on large coins that commemorate events that haven’t happened yet.
> As recently as a decade ago, the gift shop appears to have been run by an organization called the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division Benefit Fund, but in 2011 it signed a contract with a company called Giannini Strategic Enterprises to run the shop on the fund’s behalf. When the fund liquidated itself in 2013, the gift shop was wholly transferred to Giannini.
> It’s run by a man named Anthony Giannini, who did not respond to repeated requests for an interview. He’s currently the CEO of the White House Gift Shop and runs both businesses out of an office in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. And no, there’s not an actual store, in the White House or anywhere else, where you can buy the stuff shown online.