Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Floor Speech on Commerce Secretary Nominee Wilbur Ross

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Floor Speech on Commerce Secretary Nominee Wilbur Ross


Mr. President, I rise today to oppose President
Trump’s nomination of Wilbur Ross for Secretary of Commerce. Mr. Ross is a Wall Street billionaire with
a long history of profiting from the suffering of others. He also has shady ties to Vladimir Putin’s
Russia. That’s just his record. And because of that record, I do not have
confidence that he will protect the interests of the American people as Secretary of Commerce. This Administration’s disturbing ties to
Russia have been all over the news. Here’s what’s been publicly reported as
of today: Our intelligence agencies have concluded
that the Russian government conducted a successful series of cyber-attacks against the United
States designed to help Donald Trump get elected President. Our intelligence agencies are actively
examining a dossier alleging that the Russian government has collected compromising information
on President Trump, and numerous press reports indicate that investigators have already corroborated
some of that dossier’s contents. The President’s National Security Advisor
resigned in disgrace and is the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation for
his conversations with the Russian government before the inauguration – conversations
that may have been illegal, and conversations he has apparently lied about in public. Knowingly or unknowingly, the Vice President
of the United States has repeated those lies on national television. According to CNN, “High-level advisers
close to then-presidential nominee Donald Trump were in constant communication during
the campaign with Russians known to US intelligence.” CNN confirmed the New York Times’ original investigation with “multiple current and former intelligence, law enforcement and administration officials.” And, our allies documented regular calls between the Trump campaign and the Russians, confirming the reports of US intelligence agencies. According to reports published in Newsweek, “the British government obtained information that people acting on behalf of Russia were in contact
with members of the Trump campaign.” Many news outlets have reported on U.S. intelligence
worries that NATO allies will no longer share sensitive information, because they fear the
new Administration could share it with Russia. When asked about the regular points of contact
between Russian intelligence operatives and his most senior campaign staff, President
Trump refused to take the questions seriously. He claimed the multiple reports of staff communications with Russia were “fake news.” Behind the scenes, Trump’s Chief of Staff was pressuring the FBI to help cover-up the links between Russia and the Trump campaign. We are ONE MONTH into the Trump Presidency. I wish this weren’t happening. I wish things were normal. But this. Is. Not. Normal. And it is shameful if we ignore all of it
as we evaluate the President’s nominees to critical foreign policy and national security
jobs. Mr. President, in this context, Mr. Ross’s connections to Russia raise dangerous issues. We know that Ross installed a former KGB official
and close associate of Vladimir Putin as the vice-chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, a bank
that Mr. Ross controlled, and a bank that was flooded with Russian money. Now how closely connected was this former KGB
official to Vladimir Putin? Here’s one hint. He was so closely connected to Putin that he was given a $100 million dollar payout by a Russian controlled mining company as a golden parachute. And he wasn’t even the only Putin pal on Mr.
Ross’s board. That’s right – Mr. Ross wanted the bank
he controlled to have multiple board members from Putin’s inner circle. Mr. Ross surrounds himself with Russian oligarchs — and he’s invested financially in their success. As he explained during his testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee, Mr. Ross has no intention of divesting from Diamond Shipping, a company that operates 33 oil tankers and jointly charters with even more. So a man who personally selected multiple
Vladimir Putin associates to serve with him on the board of the bank he controlled has
been totally open about his plan to continue profiting from oil tankers shuttling over
$1 billion worth of crude oil through international waters while serving as Commerce Secretary. And it’s not just one shipping company. Mr. Ross is retaining his investments in 11 — 11 — separate entities, mostly private companies registered in the Cayman Islands. Among his retained interests, the state-owned
China Investment Company will be one of Mr. Ross’s largest fellow investors. We’ve never seen a cabinet like this in
history. Like many of President Trump’s other nominees — and
like President Trump himself — this nominee seems to see his time in public service as
a chance to increase his own wealth. In other words, on any given deal, he might be working for the American people or he might just be working for himself. We will have no way to know. President Trump has apparently asked Mr. Ross to lead American trade policy. He claims to want aggressive enforcement of
anti-dumping and currency manipulation rules, which sounds great. But when Ross actually has this job, is he really going to be thinking about American workers? Or will he be thinking about how to make his KGB buddy from the Bank of Cyprus just a little richer? Or will be thinking about how to help out
his own oil tankers circling the globe? Or will he be thinking about his offshore
companies and his co-investors from China? Or will he be thinking about the next billion
dollars he plans to make? The American people should not be left guessing about who Mr. Ross will be working to protect. There is significant reason to believe that the President of the United States has substantial financial ties with Russia – but nobody actually knows any of the details because he has failed to reveal his tax returns. And now, President Trump expects the Senate
to rubber-stamp his nomination of a top banker to Vladimir Putin’s buddies to run the Commerce
Department of the United States. This is dangerous. And I will vote no. Mr. Ross’s financial ties with Russians
and his worldwide business deals aren’t the only problem with this nomination. He is practically a cartoon stereotype of
a Wall Street fat cat with no interest in anyone but himself. Ross ran a secret club of top Wall Street
tycoons called Kappa Beta Phi – I’m not making is up, it’s actually true – so
he runs this secret club which apparently gathers every year to get drunk and entertain
themselves by putting on off-color skits that make fun of the millions of Americans they’ve
swindled over the years. And that certainly reflects Mr. Ross’s worldview. This is a man who made a fortune from the
housing crisis at the expense of working families. After buying the servicing rights to over
$100 billion in subprime loans, Mr. Ross swiftly got to work cheating borrowers out of their
homes. You know, here are just a few examples of
Mr. Ross’s approach to business: Lying to borrowers about loan modifications; Charging borrowers fees that were not authorized; Taking payments from borrowers, then not applying those payments to their loans; Forcing homeowners insurance on borrowers who already had homeowners insurance; And Robo-signing fraudulent foreclosure documents. The violations were so widespread, his company
had to settle with 49 states. Let me repeat that: 49 states. A man who builds a fortune off illegally cheating
people out of their homes has no business running our Commerce Department. So let’s summarize: Mr. Ross has extensive
ties to Russia. He plans to keep making money from one of
his major oil shipping companies while working as Commerce Secretary. He’s made billions off the backs of struggling
homeowners. And in his free time he hangs out with Wall
Street tycoons who sit around making fun of everyone else. This is disgusting. For all of these reasons – for any of them,
really – I urge my colleagues to reject this nomination. Thank you Mr President, I suggest the absence
of a quorum.

65 comments

  1. Histrionic Personality Disorder
    Histrionic personality disorder is characterized by constant attention-seeking, emotional overreaction, and suggestibility. A person with this condition tends to over-dramatize situations, which may impair relationships and lead to depression.

  2. Senator Warren, please run for president in 2020. Your country badly needs you, get Vladimir Putin's pet out of the White House.

  3. Trump our savior. Never a more dickish fool to lead the far right radicals when it comes to making money off the poor. Is Trumps University still in business …. been think of becoming a billionaire myself. ERRRRP

  4. Bitch , whine , moan and pout is not leadership. Attempting to make something look bad
    does not make you look good , children.
    The wheels have fallen off the Democrats Clown Car and it is FKN hilarious watching
    them stumble and flail around . Nice choice on your new DNC leadership , ha ha ha.

  5. Holy shit! Has this become a question of treason?! Isn't that punishable by death? If so…are the powers that are aligning themselves risking execution? Are they counting on "deconstructing" the executive branch to where the law cannot be carried out?
    Didn't Steve Bannon just get access to the highest levels of national security by executive order?
    So how long did it take the Nazi's to take control of Germany in the name of the working class?
    1984 anyone?
    I get irritated by those pseudointellecual douchbags that think everything is a conspiracy, but this is fuckin crazy!
    Are Mexican Immigrants and moderate Muslims the new Jews of 1930's Germany? This is fuckin terrifying!
    To all true public servants, republican, democrat, or whatthefuckever. ..PLEASE SAVE OUR COUNTRY

  6. This is the hypocrite, Hiawatha, who wants to cut the horrible cost of education, yet charges an absolute fortune for her classes . Tell her Obama just charged Rutgers Uni. $1.5 million for his speech( & Rutgers idiots still paid it)! They are so concerned about our money dwindling from Obamacare double-increase, I can see they want to help our high education costs now. So sweet.

  7. Warren is a NUTCASE!! A brainwashed leftist liar!! NO evidence of Trump- Russian link,, all have been debunked and the leftist media keeps repeating these lies!!

  8. Mrs Warren, this red scare alienates your progressive base, including me. If only you mentioned hard subjects, the ones that democrats usually avoid.

    Oliver Stone: "It’s fashionable to take shots at Trump and avoid the Obamas and Clinton's"

  9. Mrs. Warren am just a field worker from California, and i make 400 dollars a week, which i gladly donate towards your campaing for president in 2020.

  10. Thank you sooooo much much Elizabeth for exposing the lies and corruption of the Trump cabinet and cabinet nominees! I speeches are very thorogh and packed with the information people need to know what's really going on with these people behind the scenes! I love the way you take on the establishment with the facts! You really should be the leader of the democratic party! Please keep doing what your doing and continue to go hard!!!!! We're depending on you to get us through this terrible time in American history!

  11. Elizabeth I admire the thing's you try to do and the way you stand  up to the RICH wing.    But the one thing I don't hear from you or anybody from the left is how the CONs stole the election? How the CONs stole 7'000'000 minority votes! WE won't even talk about all the voting machine fraud that happened. Or all the other VOTER suppression scams that happened WHEN will the LEFT ever stand up for the few  people who did get their votes counted!

  12. WE THE PEOPEL need to have a federal election for federal office's . We would need separate ballot's  from state election's so it can be  verifiable of course! Now the RICH WING CONs won't like this because they can't steal elections anymore. But everybody could get a VOTE for once.

  13. the fake Indian talking about morals. Elizabeth Warren running around calling people racist and white supremacist. Please child I hope you have a resume on file you're going to need it after the 2018 election

  14. so great, right. Part of THE 1%, let's see, her average worth is 8.75 million. Let's see. she earns 174,000 as Senator, #76 in wealth of 541 in Senate and house, earned 525,000 for a failed book and another 64,000 for books on how to file bankruptcy = 8.75 million, right? LOL

  15. Is a Russian businessman inherently more evil than an American businessman, or any other nationality for that matter?

    All this anti-Russian sentiment makes me uncomfortable. As far as I'm concerned, capitalism knows no national boundaries. It only cares about profit. Go after the conflicts of interest in politics by all means, but don't make out like it's worse if one nationality does it than another.

    It's not like America has never interfered in the leadership of other countries, now is it?

  16. And the winner of this year's MOST IRRELEVANT person goes to …Pocahontas!

    400k to teach one class? How you do dat??

  17. Dear Senator Warren,Please stop lying to the American People. Jeff Sessions is not a racist. He won an Excellency of Government Award – GIVEN TO HIM BY THE NAACP. And by the way, you are not the party of opposition. YOU ARE THE LOSING PARTY. I AM NO LONGER A DEMOCRAT. WHY ?BECAUSE YOU PEOPLE LIE CONSTANTLY TO US. YOU ARE MENTALLY SICK IN YOUR HEADS.

  18. Trump bashes Mexico for the same reason that Democrats bash Russia. Trump should be removed for the simple reason that he isn't up to the job.

  19. Elizabeth does a great job of fighting for the weak and exploited but she needs to learn more of the history of monopoly in banking and other industries which control hearts and minds. People she needs to learn of are. Stephen Mitford Goodson, Docherty and MacGregor, Texe Marrs(masons and those with the ultimate power), Edward Hendrie(Flat Earth and fake religions), Eustace Mullins, Antony Sutton,(Truth of origins of WW1 and 2), Stanley Monteith, Jeffrey Smith(GMOfoods), Peter Gotzshe(Pharma). He work though at the coal face does not expose the depth of lies and deceit in our society. As the Bible says satan has deceived the nations. And he has and still does. The biggest satanic lie and brainwashing globe earth and evolution. No one is literally spinning thought they have people's heads spinning.

  20. Thank so much for fighting for American interests and not the "FAT CATS"….God bless you Senator Warren….:)

  21. OMG!!
    aMustSEE!! #TrumpRussia #RussiaGATE

    Sen Elizabeth Warren's Floor Speech on Commerce Sec. Nominee Wilbur Ross

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