Trump May Fire Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Over Census Defeat
President Donald Trump is considering firing the Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross. Ross’ department oversaw the attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Reports suggest Trump blames Ross for the Supreme Court decision to block the question.
Ross is one of Trump’s original cabinet and he’s proven to be a survivor in an administration with unusually high turnover. But the census defeat and Ross’ perceived weakness on trade negotiations, especially with China, could see him out.
Trump could remove Ross as early as the summer – essentially any day now. Though Ross is a close Trump ally and has received criticism for his time in office, it’s hard to blame him personally for the Supreme Court’s decision. Many critics of the citizenship question argued that it was a racist ploy – and the Commerce Department’s lawyers failed to convince the court otherwise.
However, Ross is almost unique in his years long relationship with Trump. Their friendship stretches back before Trump’s bid for the Republican nomination. Though Trump has a history of disloyalty, even to long-term allies, Ross may permitted to resign.
The administration has lost cabinet secretaries at an alarming rate, most recently Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. Acosta was forced out because of a sweetheart deal he made with Jeffrey Epstein. There are now many acting secretaries and the administration seems reluctant to allow confirmation hearings. Ross’ departure would exacerbate this problem.