Should President Donald Trump repurpose his “Sleepy Joe” moniker for Joe Biden for his Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross?
Ross is no stranger to the power nap, and he was caught once again catching some z’s during Trump’s Tuesday speech before the United Nations General Assembly.
Former Commerce Department adviser: “Because he tends to fall asleep in meetings, they try not to put him in a position where that could happen so they’re very careful and conscious about how they schedule certain meetings.”
Trump was addressing the U.N. on issues concerning the trade war between the U.S. and China — which is in the wheelhouse of Ross and the Commerce Department that he heads — but the 81-year-old apparently couldn’t be bothered and took the opportunity to squeeze in a 15-minute cat nap, according to video shot during the event.
Ross hasn’t been Trump’s most captive audience in the past, either. Back in 2017, Ross was caught snoozing during a Trump address in Saudi Arabia, according to CNBC.
Ross’ stamina is also apparently causing rifts in the Commerce Department. A former department adviser told Politico back in July that Ross was “not respected in the building,” citing his lack of pep as part of the issue.
“Because he tends to fall asleep in meetings, they try not to put him in a position where that could happen so they’re very careful and conscious about how they schedule certain meetings,” the former adviser said. “There’s a small window where he’s able to focus and pay attention and not fall asleep.”
This isn’t a good look for a department that is tasked with helping find a solution to an ongoing trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Trade delegates from the U.S. and China are set to resume serious negotiations at some on Oct. 7, and have been laying the ground work for those negotiations in the past couple weeks.
Trump also has been unhappy with Ross in the past, and was even making calls at one point earlier this year to find a replacement for the position after Ross failed to implement a citizenship question on the 2020 census.