The US State Department is looking into the whereabouts of a $US5800 ($A7800) bottle of whisky given to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by the Japanese government, a US government document made public on Wednesday showed.
A notice from the State Department's Office of the Chief of Protocol dated July 22 listing gifts to federal employees from foreign governments reported in 2019, said the whisky was donated to Pompeo by the government of Japan on June 24, 2019.
In the notice, due to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, the gift is listed as "Disposition Unknown".
"The department is looking into the matter and has an ongoing inquiry," a footnote says.
The investigation was first reported by the New York Times, which noted that US officials are allowed to keep gifts that are appraised to be worth less than $US390, and if they want to keep gifts valued over that, they have to buy them.
Asked for comment, Pompeo's lawyer, William Burck, said: "Mr Pompeo has no recollection of receiving the bottle of whisky and does not have any knowledge of what happened to it. He is also unaware of any inquiry into its whereabouts. He has no idea what the disposition was of this bottle of whiskey."
The State Department did not respond to a request for further details.
The New York Times quoted two unnamed people briefed on the matter as saying that the US government was never paid for the bottle and the State Department had asked its inspector-general to determine what happened to it.
The Times report said it was unclear if Pompeo ever received the gift, as he was travelling in Saudi Arabia on June 24, 2019, when Japanese officials gave it to the State Department.
Australian Associated Press