Secretary Ross, Secretary, Donald Trump discussed on PBS NewsHour
Equity holdings but. Questions about, the. Timing of. Ross's actions Secretary related to his personal wealth remain Dan Alexander Forbes has been covering the story, and his reporting with cited by the office of government ethics in that, letter last week he joins me Now Dan Alexander. Welcome to the news, hour, I wanna ask you about some of your latest reporting you look specifically at secretary Ross's calendar specifically the time between February and November of twenty seventeen those first few months in office what, about that time raised red flags for you Well we started looking through it immediately. You can see there dozens of, meetings with companies in which. Secretary Ross had financial interests or ties to the company there are also meetings with foreign, leaders that have oversight over businesses that he owned at the time and they're also. Meetings with sovereign wealth? Funds that had previously pumped millions of dollars into, secretary Ross's private equity funds so let's look specifically at one day. For example may eighteen twenty seventeen detail in your reporting, it's a busy day for, the secretary he has meetings with foreign officials, a trade hearing some calls there's one. Lunch. That you hone in on one that lasts longer than any other meeting and it's a lunch with the CEO of. A rail, car manufacturer called Greenbrier companies, why is that significant so shocking. When we saw it on the calendar you can see. It's listed as lunch with Wendy and dole Furman and if you look and see who Bill Furman is you can see that. He's as you said to see of Greenbrier companies And Wendy appears to be Wilbur Ross secretary, of staff so it looks like there are three people in this meeting once the CEO of Greenbrier ones Wilbur Ross. And the third is appears to be, Wendy Teramoto, now at the time Wilbur Ross had a. Secret interest in Greenbrier which she had. Never disclosed ethics officials and he, had that interest while he. Was having this meeting in addition Wendy Teramoto also had a financial interest in Greenbrier so, you've got three people at the meeting to have undisclosed to the public interest in. The company that the? Third person is running what they discussed about is, going to be a question that a lot of people are wondering. The Commerce Department says it was all friendly but it's, hard to imagine that they, didn't get into any business topics at all And also as part of your reporting you mentioned in there you found out. Greenbrier had been lobbying for renegotiation of NAFTA, and then we saw action from secretary Ross's office that same day is that right Yeah the meeting starts at twelve noon and at eleven fifty nine AM secretary Ross puts out a statement. That he's going to be renegotiating NAFTA on behalf of. Donald Trump and as you said Greenbrier have been actively lobbying other. Parts of the federal government to make changes to NAFTA at that point for. Months so he didn't disclose? The interest in that one company he, did disclose however interest. He held in a private equity fund one who single biggest, investment is actually a company that builds ships in China what's the. Ethical conflict there So this is a company you're referring to is called nautical bulk holding this is another one actually that he did not divest. Originally he just excuse me did not disclose originally just disclosed that he had. The fun but you have to disclose all of. The underlying holdings of the fund, and that that biggest interest as you, said, was to make ships in China and at the time Wilbur Ross is one of Donald Trump's lead lieutenants in what is now the ongoing trade. War, between the United States in China's you've got a guy. Who's financial interests are positioned to benefit from trade in China at the same time that he's negotiating over trade. In China day let, me ask you this because we asked secretary Ross is office for comment they pointed us back to that July twelfth. Letter we cited in the introduction here they basically cited. A part that said look although this is the office of government. Ethics to his office that his actions could have run him a foul of. Criminal conflict of interest law But that they found a review of the calendars his briefing. Books and correspondent that he wasn't in any such violation of that law they. Also pointed us to a part of their department..