A Trump Cabinet member who was with the President the night he launched a military strike in Syria characterized the attack as a form of “entertainment” on Monday.
Reflecting on last month’s strike, ordered as Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur 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 said at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference in Los Angeles, according to Variety.
Requests for comment from the Commerce Department and the White House were not immediately returned.
The strike followed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s suspected use of chemical weapons upon his own people, killing dozens.
On April 6, 57 U.S. missiles struck the Syrian government’s Shayrat air base, where the warplanes believed to have carried out a previous chemical attack were based, U.S. officials said.
Trump has recounted the strike, coincidentally timed with Xi’s visit, with great fanfare, in one interview recalling the food he and Xi ate with specificity.
“I was sitting at the table. We had finished dinner. We’re now having dessert,” Trump told Fox Business. “And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen, and President Xi was enjoying it.”