Donald Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the president’s decision to launch 59 missiles at a Syrian air base was made “in lieu of after-dinner entertainment,” Variety reports.


Ross made the comment at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday, prompting the audience to laugh.

“Just as dessert was being served, the president explained to [Chinese President Xi Jinping] he had something he wanted to tell him, which was the launching of 59 missiles into Syria,” Ross said. “It was in lieu of after-dinner entertainment.”

“The thing was, it didn’t cost the president anything to have that entertainment,” Ross added.

Speaking with co-CEO of the Carlyle Group David Rubenstein, Ross said he’s been “heartened” by the quality of people he’s met in government since he was confirmed as Trump’s commerce secretary in February.

I thought the quality of people in the government was not as high as it has turned out to be,” he said. “There are actually quite a lot of very good, very serious, very intelligent people wanting to do their best. It’s just they’ve been trapped in a fundamentally dysfunctional system.”