Commerce secretary and enthusiastic beef boy Wilbur Ross has largely flown under the radar relative to the other dumb and corrupt assholes in Donald Trump’s cabinet, but according to Politico, he’s fallen out of favor with the president.
Politico reports that Trump told this very sleepy 80-year old man that he’s “no longer a killer,” and has largely sidelined him on the most important trade issues facing the administration:
Trump himself has lashed out at Ross in Oval Office meetings, telling the man who once helped bail him out in Atlantic City that he’s “past his prime” and “no longer a killer” and trying to bench him from making trade deals, according to three people familiar with the comments. Despite being one of the administration’s leading protectionist voices early on, Ross was initially left off a May trade delegation to China led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Although Ross still plays a large public-facing role — just last week the president instructed him to examine potential tariffs on foreign cars — his stature internally on delicate trade negotiations has diminished amid perpetual jockeying between advocates of free trade and those, like Ross, who want to take a harder, more protectionist stance, according to interviews with more than a dozen current and former administration officials and Republicans close to the White House.
Part of the reason Ross reportedly fell out of favor with Trump was ironically because of beef, a food he said earlier this month that both he and Trump love and which has absolutely has not messed up either of their brains:
Ross also hurt himself politically when he brought back to the president two potential deals with China last year. One would have cut China’s production of steel, though some policy experts say China was already planning to so by closing some plants. The other deal would have allowed imported cooked chicken from China into the U.S. in exchange for opening up the Chinese market to U.S. beef.
In a meeting in the Oval Office, Ross tried to cast the beef deal as a big win — but the president viewed it as too small and a bad agreement, an original sin in this White House. He reamed out Ross in front of a small cadre of officials, according to the three people briefed on the exchange, and told Ross he wanted him out of the negotiations.
Yes, of course, how dare you bring a deal that’s bad and small to President Deals, who is currently scrambling to try to save the North Korea summit he stupidly rushed into and then even more stupidly rushed into canceling.
Ross is also reportedly a bit too much of a yes man even for Trump. “Ross has been involved and then totally uninvolved on trade, and the reason is because his whole mode is to tell the president whatever he wants to hear,” a “close advisor to the White House” told Politico. “He is always trying to guess what the president will say. In the beginning, that was easier because the president was more predictable. But Ross did not get the message that Trump now wants to win the Nobel Peace Prize and doesn’t want to launch a trade war.”
Both the White House and the Commerce department reportedly denied Politico’s story after it was published. Commerce called the story “absurd,” while White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley called it “laughably ridiculous on its face,” adding that Ross has Trump’s “full confidence.”
Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen came close to resigning after Trump berated her in fron of her colleagues. And, of course, the ridiculously corrupt EPA administrator Scott Pruitt somehow still has his job. Great executive branch we have here.