Wilbur Ross, President Donald Trump’s commerce secretary, joked Monday that the U.S. missile strike on a Syrian military air base served as “after-dinner entertainment” during last month’s summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate.
‘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. . . . It was in lieu of after-dinner entertainment.’
“The thing was, it didn’t cost the president anything to have that entertainment,” Ross added as he spoke at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday, according to a report by Variety.
Actually, the April 6 missile strike cost the U.S. government at least $60 million, or roughly $1 million per Tomahawk missile.
Read: Here’s how much it costs to replace the 59 Tomahawk missiles Trump fired on Syria
At least 16 people, including seven Syrian military personnel, were killed in the attack, according to Syrian officials.
While not ordinarily involved with national security decisions, Ross was in the secure operations room at the Florida estate for the official briefing on the airstrike.
Ross, who made billions in the private sector acquiring distressed and struggling businesses, also said he’s been impressed by the professionalism of government workers.
“I’ve been heartened,” he said, according to Variety. “I thought the quality of people in the government was not as high as it has turned out to be. There are actually quite a lot of very good, very serious, very intelligent people wanting to do their best. It’s just they’ve been trapped in a fundamentally dysfunctional system.”