Donald Trump might be able to excite crowds of his supporters, but he hasn’t had a lot of luck keeping his Commerce Secretary enraptured.
Wilbur Ross appeared to fall asleep during Trump’s speech before the United Nations’ General Assembly on Tuesday. Footage showed Ross with his eyes closed as Trump spoke for as long as 15 minutes. When his eyes did open, he looked groggy.
Ross was famously caught napping during another Trump speech in 2017 during a trip to Saudi Arabia, as Ivanka Trump sat nearby.
Politico, in July, published a report claiming that Ross was prone to falling asleep during meetings. Another report in Axios made the same claims, citing insiders.
The stories about Wilbur Ross sleeping in public do not seem to have deterred him. https://t.co/OUAzQIYUM1
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) September 24, 2019
Is Wilbur Ross … is he sleeping through Trump's #unga speech? pic.twitter.com/rmzjtuFedB
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 24, 2019
Ross, for his part, insisted late Tuesday that he hadn’t been napping, but rather concentrating on what Trump was saying.
“I wear hearing aids and, during President Trump’s inspiring speech, which covered in detail the entire range of significant issues facing the world, was concentrating on what was being said,” he said in a statement to Fortune. “Immediately following the President’s remarks, I attended bilateral meetings with the leaders of the United Kingdom and India, and, later in the day, will have follow-up meetings with officials from the United Kingdom and South Korea. Additionally, throughout the entirety of the UN General Assembly, I attended events or am planning to participate in meetings with the governments of Pakistan, Poland, Egypt, Japan, Greece, and Vietnam. On Sunday, I will depart on twelve days of official travel to London, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Yangon, Naypyidaw, Canberra, and Sydney. This is not the schedule of someone with low energy.”
Drowsiness isn’t the only talking point for Ross’s critics. The Secretary was accused of violating federal conflict of interest laws in 2018 by a government watchdog group. He has also reportedly kept investments in a shipping firm with significant business ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
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