Ross Can’t Explain His 2017 Email Citing Opposition To Citizenship Question

UNITED STATES - MARCH 14: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross testifies during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing in Rayburn Building discuss preparations for the 2020 Census and citizenship questions on Thursday March 14, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
March 14, 2019 3:00 p.m.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said he didn’t know who was he referring to in an August 2017 email when he mentioned someone being dug “in about not” asking “the citizenship question.”

“I do not know the answer to your question as I sit here,” Ross said.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), who was grilling Ross at a House Oversight Committee hearing, struggled to get him to answer the question. First, Ross said he couldn’t answer her question without a copy of the email in front of him, and it took staff several minutes to find a copy to give to him. Then, Ross brought up the typos in the message, saying “it’s quite obvious from the typos that this was a very hastily written email.”

He then said that the language in the email indicated that he was not on the phone call being referred to.

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