Trump says Wilbur Ross is ‘past his prime’: report
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE has reportedly bashed Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossWilbur Ross ordered to give deposition in 2020 census case: report The seafood trade deficit is a diversionary tactic Wilbur Ross is wrong; the pain from the trade war is coming MORE as being "past his prime" amid tensions within the administration over trade negotiations with China in recent weeks. 

Trump's remarks toward the 80-year-old agency head come as Trump has reportedly kept Ross sidelined for key talks with China, according to Politico

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Though Trump once hailed his longtime friend Ross, a billionaire investor and trade magnate, as a champion of America-first trade policies, he now says Ross is "no longer a killer." 

Ross is still working with the president on some trade issues, but Trump has reportedly largely bypassed the secretary in top-priority negotiations, and Ross was initially not invited to a May summit with Chinese trade officials led by Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner Mnuchin5 things to know about Trump's escalating trade war with China On The Money: Trump signs first 2019 'minibus' spending package | Mueller probing transactions by Russian organizers of Trump Tower meeting | Stocks brush off trade fears On The Money: Cohen reportedly questioned over Trump dealings with Russia | Trump hails economy | Tells workers to 'start looking' if they want a better job | Internal poll shows tax law backfiring on GOP MORE, multiple sources told Politico. 

Ross is still working on tasks such as researching potential foreign car tariffs.