US President Donald Trump is blaming Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for a Supreme Court defeat on adding a citizenship question to the census and has told aides and allies that he is considering removing him from off9ice, NBC News reported on Monday.
Trump said despite the setback he will continue with the question on citizenship to the 2020 census and that he was not giving up his fight to count how many non-citizens are in the country. He also ordered government agencies to mine their databases.
Trump is also reported to be frustrated with Ross over some failed trade negotiations. Trump has also been making calls to “allies outside the White House about replacing Ross.”
The 81-year old Ross is one of the original members of a Cabinet and his exit would mark the first departure of an agency head that Trump knew well before entering politics.
Trump and Ross knew each other from Trump’s Atlantic City casino hotel bankruptcies in the 1990s, with Ross representing some of Trump’s creditors, and owned nearby residences in Manhattan and Palm Beach.
In June of 2016, Ross, a Democrat, endorsed Republican Trump for president, saying, “We need a more radical, new approach to government.”
Trump has shown a penchant for parting ways with members of his cabinet and has so far sacked secretaries in the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security and now Labor. There are now more than 20 acting officials under various departments.