Sunday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross joined an ever-growing list of top Trump associates with connections to Russia. A leak of financial documents shows that Secretary Ross has financial connections to the Putin family. Ross holds a significant share of the company Navigator Holdings, which transports oil and gas for Sibur, a company based in Moscow. Vladimir Putin’s son- in-law, Kirill Shamalov, owns about 3.9 percent of Sibur’s shares. Further, Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko and a Russian natural gas company, Novatek, owned by Leonid Mikhelson, own shares in Sibur. Both have been sanctioned by the United States. What makes this difficult for Ross is that he did not disclose his financial connections to Congress. It should be noted he didn’t have to disclose his holding in Navigator Holdings to Congress, although he did disclose it to the Office of Government Ethics. The question should be asked, given the controversy surrounding the president and his ties to Russia, should Secretary Ross resign because of his financial connections to the Putin family?
Those who feel Secretary Ross should resign feel that his financial connections to Russia disqualify him from holding a cabinet position in the United States. They feel that, with a special prosecutor digging into the president’s possible collusion with Russia to win the presidency, there should, for the good of the country, be no one with financial connections to Russia serving in the government. Plus, he also has connections to people who have been sanctioned by the U.S. government, and that gives him a bad conflict of interest. Finally, while he did not have to disclose these particular financial holdings, it does look very deceptive in today’s political climate not to have done so.
People who feel Secretary Ross should not resign argue that this is much ado about nothing. There is nothing illegal about his business dealings. Also, he may not have disclosed them to Congress, but he did to the Office of Government Ethics, so he was not hiding anything. Many people also feel this is a political witch hunt that is out to destroy anyone associated with the president. Finally, Ross is a good and capable man that we need in the government and he should not be forced out for doing nothing wrong.
NBC News covering the Wilbur Ross story:
Should Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross resign? Do his financial connections to the Putin family disqualify him from being in the cabinet? Or, is this a political witch hunt?
Wilbur Ross should resign
Those who feel Secretary Ross should resign say that having business ties to people who have been sanctioned by the United States government means you can’t serve in the government. They feel that his ties to Russia are a huge conflict of interest and he should not be in the government.
Wilbur Ross mist immediately resign, whether or not Mueller also nails him. He is conflicted out of government
— Shaun (@welsh_shaun) November 5, 2017
— Serenity (@serenityatsea) November 5, 2017
— Linda Clarke (@LindaMLC) November 5, 2017
#WilburRoss should resign, hire a lawyer, and await indictment.
— mandy sue (@mandyinseattle) November 5, 2017
Wilbur Ross should not resign
Those who feel Secretary Ross should not resign see this as a politically motivated attack on a man who has done nothing wrong. They feel that he is a needed man in our government and he should not lose his job for doing nothing wrong.
— Mike Mumford 🏹🦌🇺🇸 (@Merfco) November 5, 2017
Wilbur Ross is the type of person you should want in govt no matter the president/party. A shame to see him caught up in political nonsense.
— Brad Loncar (@bradloncar) November 6, 2017
More noise, that's all.
— Creeker (@Creeker27890438) November 6, 2017
Do you think Secretary Ross should resign?