Wilbur Ross, Donald Trump’s Secretary of Commerce who is definitely going to be questioned about his ties to Russia at some point by Robert Mueller, is falling out of favor with the boss. It’s no longer just an issue of wanting to distance himself from the former Bank of Cyprus vice chairman who oversaw Russian land deals while at the Cypriot bank known for so-called “dark” money. Now it’s something a bit more personal.
According to a new report from Axios, Trump’s opinion of Ross has turned dismal over the last few months. The president was one of Wilbur’s biggest cheerleaders early on in the administration, but sources from Axios are now quoting Trump with some pretty awful attributions:
“Wilbur has lost his step. Actually, he’s probably lost a lot of steps.”
But that’s not the worst of it. Trump, known for his usually-misplaced self-confidence in dealmaking — most notably after failing to even keep the government functioning while squabbling over issues that both sides of the aisle agreed on — thinks that Wilbur Ross just isn’t that great at making deals. From Axios:
“These trade deals, they’re terrible,” Trump said, according to a source in the room for one of the meetings. “Your understanding of trade is terrible. Your deals are no good. No good.”
And even THAT isn’t as bad as it gets.
Wilbur Ross, who’s barely old enough to be Trump’s older brother, just can’t stay awake in meetings anymore. We can’t say we blame him — it’s got to be hard to listen to the same old self-congratulatory speeches from the president, not to mention the sycophantic praise Trump gets from his far-too-eager aides and inner circle.
Some inside the White House have disputed the reports, with Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah telling the Axios reporter Jonathan Swan that Ross “is leading the administration’s approach on steel, aluminum, intellectual property and trade.” Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn had the old man’s back as well, telling Swan “Secretary Ross remains an important member of the President’s economic team, particularly as we work to advance the President’s commitment to free, fair and reciprocal trade.”
But looking so old you can’t stay awake? That’s just not going to fly in a Trump administration focused on virility, winning, and good hair.
Wilbur Ross is a little short on all three.
Featured image via Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images