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