Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is under fire—with one journalist characterizing it as the behavior of a 'sociopath'—following crude remarks made Monday in which he described the U.S. bombing of Syria as "after-dinner entertainment" at President Donald Trump's private Mar-A-Lago estate while hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping last month.
"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 Monday during a speech at the Milken Institute Conference in Beverly Hills, California. "It was in lieu of after-dinner entertainment. The thing was, it didn't cost the president anything to have that entertainment."
According to Variety, which first reported the comments, some members of the audience responded with laughter.
Made public, however, the comments by Ross attracted not smiles but widespread disgust and rebuke.
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) May 2, 2017
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) May 1, 2017
SICK statement from Trump admin!! | Wilbur Ross: Trump's Syria Strike Was "After Dinner Entertainment" | Zero Hedge https://t.co/uqt1Ukx3VY
— AsLan's Girl (@Aslans_Girl) May 2, 2017
— Real_Patriot (@2020pleasehurry) May 2, 2017
This short video by Carbonated TV captured additional responses of outrage:
Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, also condemned Ross' comment.
"Secretary Wilbur Ross needs to apologize," Lieu declared in a tweet Monday night. "US military is not a toy and should never be used for 'entertainment.'"