Billionaire Trump official: ‘I don’t understand why’ unpaid federal workers need food banks during shutdown
Trump Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (Screen cap).

Trump Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Thursday told CNBC that he was baffled at reports of federal government employees going to food banks amid a government shutdown in which they're being forced to work without pay.

In an interview with CNBC's "Squawk Box," Ross -- who as recently as 2016 had his net worth estimated at $2.9 billion -- was asked what he made of reports that some federal workers had to go to homeless shelters to feed their families during President Donald Trump's government shutdown that now ranks as the longest shutdown in American history.

"Well, I know they are, and I don't really quite understand why," Ross replied. "Because, as I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake, say borrowing from a bank or a credit union, are, in effect, federally guaranteed. So the thirty days of pay that some people will be out, there's really no reason why they shouldn't be able to get a loan against it."

Watch the video below.