Palm Beacher and Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross: Faux billionaire?

Forbes magazine says U.S. Commerce Sec. and Palm Beach resident Wilbur Ross, shown here in 2013 at The Beach Club, is not a billionaire. (Meghan McCarthy/The Palm Beach Daily News)

Attentive readers of the PostOnPolitics blog will recall that Palm Beach resident and U.S. Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross was flagged as “noticeably absent” when Forbes released its annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americans last month.

The latest Forbes 400 showed President and part-time Palm Beacher Donald Trump slipping from $3.7 billion in net worth in 2016 to $3.1 billion now and tumbling from 156th place to 248th.

Ross ranked 319th on the 2016 list with a net worth of $2.9 billion but was a no-show this year. In an article posted today, Forbes’ Dan Alexander contends Ross’ net worth is in the $700 million neighborhood.

“So began the mystery of Wilbur Ross’ missing $2 billion,” Alexander writes. “And after one month of digging, Forbes is confident it has found the answer: That money never existed. It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004.”

Click here to read the entire article.

 

Donald Trump falls 92 places on Palm Beach-heavy Forbes 400 list

President Donald Trump at Palm Beach International Airport in February. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

President and part-time Palm Beach resident Donald Trump is the 248th wealthiest person in America, down from 156th place last year, in the latest Forbes 400 rankings.

As Darrell Hofheinz of The Palm Beach Daily News reports, the latest list is thick with Palm Beach residents and part-time Palm Beachers.

Forbes estimates Trump’s net worth slipped from $3.7 billion in 2016 to $3.1 billion this year.

Palm Beach resident and U.S. Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross is noticeably absent from this year’s list, however. Ross ranked 319th with a $2.9 billion net worth last year.

Click here for the entire Forbes 400 list.

Yet another Palm Beacher in Donald Trump’s Cabinet?

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani at Donald Trump’s election night celebration.

President Donald Trump‘s Cabinet already has a distinctive Palm Beach flavor.

Rudy Giuliani with friend and former Palm Beach Town Councilman Bill Diamond outside Palm Beach Town Hall in 2015.

Trump, the part-time Palm Beacher who visited his Mar-a-Lago estate seven times in his first 100 days as president, has already tapped Palm Beach neighbor Wilbur Ross for Commerce secretary and Palm Beach resident Robert Lighthizer for the Cabinet-level post of U.S. trade representative.

Palm Beach Gardens resident Ben Carson is secretary of Housing and Urban Development. And Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is a Miami resident who made headlines overseeing corruption probes in Palm Beach County as a federal prosecutor.

Now that Trump has made his irritation with Attorney General Jeff Sessions clear, Axios.com is reporting that the president is considering longtime ally Rudy Giuliani to replace Sessions.

Former New York Mayor Giuliani is frequently sighted in Palm Beach and owns a pair of condos on the island — a Lake Drive unit valued at $1.6 million and Cocoanut Row place appraised at $390,000.

Palm Beacher Wilbur Ross marvels at protest-free Trump visit to Saudi Arabia

Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross says there was “not a single hint of a protester” during President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

Commerce Secretary and Palm Beach resident Wilbur Ross, part of the U.S. delegation on President Donald Trump‘s eight-day, five-nation overseas trip, told CNBC this morning that after visiting Saudi Arabia he sees signs the Saudis are allowing more opportunities for women and “liberalizing their society.”

Ross said he saw a “genuinely good mood” in Saudi Arabia, a country known for cracking down on dissent.

Unlike the U.S., there was “not one guy with a bad placard” in Saudi Arabia, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross noted.

“There was not a single hint of a protester anywhere there during the whole time we were there. Not one guy with a bad placard,” Ross said.

“But Secretary Ross, that may be not necessarily because they don’t have those feelings there but because they control people and don’t allow them to come and express their feelings quite the same as we do here,” CNBC’s Becky Quick interjected.

“In theory that may be true,” Ross allowed.

“But boy there was certainly no sign of it,” Ross continued. “There wasn’t a single effort at any incursion. There wasn’t anything. The mood was a genuinely good mood. And at the end of the trip, as I was getting back on the plane, the security guards from the Saudi side who were helping us over the weekend all wanted to pose for a big photo op and then they gave me two gigantic bushels of dates as a present, a thank-you for the trip that we had had. That was a pretty from-the-heart, very genuine gesture and it really touched me.”

According to Human Rights Watch, “Saudi authorities in 2017 continued to arbitrarily arrest, try, and convict peaceful dissidents. Dozens of human rights defenders and activists are serving long prison sentences for criticizing authorities or advocating political and rights reforms.”

Trump’s emerging Florida Cabinet: Carson, Ross, Acosta, Lighthizer

President Donald Trump has tapped four Floridians for Cabinet-level posts. Clockwise from top left: Ben Carson (HUD), Wilbur Ross (Commerce), Robert Lighthizer (U.S. Trade Rep), Alex Acosta (Labor).
President Donald Trump has tapped four Floridians for Cabinet-level posts. Clockwise from top left: Ben Carson (HUD), Wilbur Ross (Commerce), Robert Lighthizer (U.S. Trade Rep), Alex Acosta (Labor).

President Donald Trump‘s choice of Miami resident Alex Acosta for Labor secretary brings to four the number of Floridians Trump has tapped for Cabinet-level posts.

 

Part-time Palm Beacher Trump’s nominees include three Palm Beach County residents.

 

• Palm Beach Gardens resident Ben Carson, a former GOP presidential rival who endorsed Trump last March, is Trump’s pick to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He’s awaiting Senate confirmation.

 

• Palm Beach resident Wilbur Ross, who lives about a mile north of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, was picked for Commerce secretary and is also awaiting Senate confirmation.

 

• Acosta, announced yesterday after Andy Puzder withdrew, hails from Miami and is dean of the law school at Florida International University after serving as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida under President George W. Bush.

 

Robert Lighthizer, an attorney awaiting Senate confirmation as Trump’s choice for U.S. Trade Representative, is often listed as a Maryland resident but has a homestead exemption in Palm Beach and has been registered to vote there since December 2015.

Trump Administration: Palm Beach County residents, Floridians in key roles

Palm Beach Gardens resident Ben Carson, shown here in March with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, is one of several Palm Beach County residents and Floridians positioned for key roles in President Trump's administration. (Meghan McCarthy / Palm Beach Daily News)
Palm Beach Gardens resident Ben Carson, shown here in March with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, is one of several Palm Beach County residents and Floridians positioned for key roles in President Trump’s administration. (Meghan McCarthy / Palm Beach Daily News)

Tallahassee lobbyist and Republican fundraiser Brian Ballard had a seat on the platform when part-time Palm Beach resident Donald Trump was sworn in Friday as the nation’s 45th president.

The prime positioning was one indication of the influential roles that Ballard and some other Floridians could play – some publicly and some less visibly – in President Trump’s new administration.

Trump, who calls his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach “the Winter White House,” has nominated Palm Beach neighbor Wilbur Ross to be Commerce secretary and Palm Beach Gardens resident Ben Carson for secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

 

Click here to read the entire story at MyPalmBeachPost.com