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Timothy L. O'Brien

Wilbur Ross, Trump’s Elusive Swamp Survivor

The commerce secretary’s list of ethical conflicts would make even Scott Pruitt blush.

Homo Paludosus.

Homo Paludosus.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Wilbur Ross, like his former White House colleague Scott Pruitt, is an interesting and unevolved version of Homo Paludosus: mired in myriad and ongoing ethical conflicts, subjected to tawdry revelations about his finances and business practices, and yet apparently impervious to extinction.

Ross, to be sure, hasn’t trafficked in all of the deeply swampy acts that made Pruitt so scandalicious. As far as we know, Ross hasn’t enlisted his security detail and staff to go shopping for him, he hasn’t hit up lobbyists for bargain condo rentals, and he hasn’t asked a big corporation to give his wife a business.