Wilbur Ross Catches Flak for Joke on Syria Strike

Wilbur Ross likened it to 'after-dinner entertainment' at Mar-a-Lago
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2017 6:03 AM CDT
Commerce Chief Catches Flak for Joke on Syria Strike
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was trying to be funny, but his recollection of his boss' decision to launch an airstrike on Syria is not going over well. At a conference Monday, Ross publicly recounted the move made by President Trump while he was entertaining Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago in April. "Just as dessert was being served, the president explained to Mr. Xi he had something he wanted to tell him, which was the launching of 59 missiles into Syria," Ross said, per Variety. "It was in lieu of after-dinner entertainment." The crowd chuckled, and he added, "The thing was, it didn’t cost the president anything to have that entertainment." USA Today does some quick math, calculating that at $1.355 million per missile, the strike cost about $80 million just for those alone.

Ross' flippancy about the military action is now being roundly panned in the media, and not just from the left. "Yeesh," is the one-word tweet from Allapundit of the conservative Hot Air site, per Mediaite, which rounds up a bunch. "Oh, Wilbur Ross. No," tweeted Chris Cillizza at CNN. At New York magazine, Margaret Hartmann is reminded of Trump's own recollection of the decision, in which he talked about the "most beautiful piece of chocolate cake" they were having at the time, as well as MSNBC's Brian Williams waxing poetic on the beauty of the missiles. Ross, she writes, "has pulled off an impressive feat, combining the Marie Antoinette element of Trump’s remarks and the callousness of Williams’s commentary." (More Wilbur Ross stories.)

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