Tags: Russia | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | richard blumenthal | wilbur ross | vladimir putin | commerce secretary

Blumenthal: 'I Feel Misled' on Wilbur Ross


By    |   Monday, 06 Nov 2017 04:00 PM

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said Monday he feels "misled" about Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose ties to those close to Russian President Vladimir Putin became apparent Sunday.

"I feel misled," said Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee who confirmed Ross, on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"Congress should feel misled," he added. "Wilbur Ross came to our committee, he claimed to be divesting and selling all these interests. In fact, he has retained an ownership stake in a company, Navigator, that does business with this Russian energy giant. He probably makes more money from shipping gas for Russia than he does as commerce secretary when he goes to negotiate trade agreements."

Blumenthal then brought up the multiple members of President Donald Trump's campaign and administration that have come under scrutiny for their contact with Russia.

Panelist Bret Stephens of The New York Times compared the connections between the Trump campaign and Russia to "a painting where every single point seems small, but it creates a picture. What's astonishing is just the ubiquity of the ties at every level of the Trump campaign, whether it was Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn . . . [or Attorney General] Jeff Sessions."

Stephens then said Russia cannot be compared, economically, to common American business partners like France, the United Kingdom, or China, which are "major economies," while Russia's economy is "considerably smaller than Italy's."

"It simply begs the question why so many members of Trump's inner circle were interested in ties with Russia or had ties" already, he concluded.

Blumenthal later suggested the "inspector general of the Department of Commerce should investigate immediately."

He added, "We ought to have hearings in the Commerce Committee, he came before us and he apparently deliberately concealed these ownership interests. There ought to be hearings, and if he fails to provide a convincing and compelling explanation he ought to resign."

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' ties to those close to Russian President Vladimir Putin has Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., feeling "misled."
richard blumenthal, wilbur ross, vladimir putin, commerce secretary
Monday, 06 Nov 2017 04:00 PM
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