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Ross: Trump Syria strike ‘after-dinner entertainment’

Ross: Trump Syria strike ‘after-dinner entertainment’
© Greg Nash

Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossTrump gets recommendation for steep curbs on imported steel, risking trade war Analysis: Outdoor recreation was 2 percent of GDP in 2016 Overnight Finance: Breaking down Trump's budget | White House finally releases infrastructure plan | Why it faces a tough road ahead | GOP, Dems feud over tax-cut aftermath | Markets rebound MORE says President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE’s missile strike in Syria served as “after-dinner entertainment” at Mar-a-Lago.

“Just as dessert was being served, the president explained to Mr. Xi he had something he wanted to tell him, which was the launching of 59 missiles into Syria,” Ross said Monday while discussing Trump’s April meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to Variety.

“It was in lieu of after-dinner entertainment. The thing was, it didn’t cost the president anything to have that entertainment.”

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Variety said Ross’s remarks, which occurred at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles, were met with laughter.

Ross was recalling Trump’s April 6 meeting with Xi at the former’s luxury resort in Palm Beach, Fla.

Trump authorized the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria following a reported chemical attack there. Syria claimed 15 people were killed in the U.S. strikes.

The U.S. strike targeted Shayrat Air Base near the Syrian city of Homs, the reported origin of the deadly sarin gas that killed more than 80 civilians, including children.

Forces loyal to Bashar Assad reportedly conducted the attack, a charge the Syrian leader fiercely denies. 

Russia’s defense minister said last week that the U.S. strike on Shayrat put Russian troops at risk.

“Washington’s action created a threat to the lives of our servicemen who are fighting against terrorism in Syria,” Sergei Shoigu said in Moscow. "Such steps are forcing us to take extra measures to ensure the safety of Russian forces.”

Russia is a staunch ally of Assad’s government and has cast doubt on his forces’ involvement in April’s incident.