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Wilbur Ross: U.S. Airstrike on Syria Was ‘After-Dinner Entertainment’ for Mar-a-Lago

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called the April 6 U.S. missile strike on Syria “after-dinner entertainment” for President Donald Trump’s guests at Mar-a-Lago during a conference on Monday.

Ross, a billionaire banker without previous experience in government, was describing Trump’s dinner with China’s President Xi Jinping at the Florida club. He was speaking at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference, known for bringing together billionaires and leaders in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“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, according to Variety. “It was in lieu of after-dinner entertainment.”

The audience laughed at the remarks, Variety reports, and Ross continued: “The thing was, it didn’t cost the president anything to have that entertainment.”

At least seven were killed in the attack, according to the Syrian military.

The airstrike took place two days after the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians.




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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com