If you take an 80-year-old billionaire halfway around the world, don't be surprised if he gets drowsy while you drone on about stopping global terror.
And if that billionaire is Wilbur Ross, a man who hasn't been described as "in touch" since the Eisenhower administration, you might want to just let him sleep lest he foggily pick up on some strange details from the trip and then discuss them on live TV with all the fatuous wonder of a beauty pageant contestant who just learned about solar power.
Like, Wilbur thought it was pretty fucking classy that Saudis didn't line the streets in protest of his new boss like all those ungrateful liberals in America. In fact, Wilbur thought the lack of protestors was a stark symbol that Trump is beloved in the Middle East and is already the most transformational foreign policy president, like, ever. He said as much to Becky Quick during an appearance on this morning's "Squawk Box."
The exchange is wonderful.
ROSS: There's no question that they're liberalizing their society, and I think the other thing that was fascinating to me, there was not a single hint of a protester anywhere there during the whole time we were there. Not one guy with a bad placard. Instead -
At this point Quick is legit grinning as if to say "Oh you weird old man," but she quickly remembers that Wilbur is a man who wears $500 slippers to joint sessions of Congress and has no context of fucking anything.
QUICK: But Secretary Ross that may be not necessarily because they don't have those feelings there, but because they control people and don't allow them to come and express their feelings quite the same as we do here.
Never one to listen, Ross basically tells Quick she can have her opinion but, like, he was there mmm-k?
ROSS: In theory, that could be true, but boy there was certainly no sign of it. There was not a single effort at any incursion. There wasn't anything. The mood was a genuinely good mood.
Ross essentially makes Quick's point for her by admitting that one of the most devout muslim nations in the world was eerily silent during the visit of an American president who ran on a platform of Islamaphobia. He then doubled down on his love for all things Saud by offering a sweet but vacuous example of how much Saudis seem to really love Wilbur Ross.
ROSS: And at the end of the trip - as I was getting back on the plane - the security guards from the Saudis who'd been helping us over the weekend all wanted to pose for a big photo. And then they gave me two gigantic bushels of dates as a present, as a thank you for the trip that we had had. That was a pretty from-the-heart very genuine gesture and it really touched me.
So the man in charge of negotiating global trade deals on behalf of the US Government appreciates the aesthetics of an oppressive theocracy, can't stay awake during a key moment of tightrope global policy and can be made to feel special by giving him large amounts of fruit as a gift.
If Wilbur was involved in the BLackstone/Saudi deal at all, we assume his participation went thusly:
SAUDI: We're going to give Blackstone $20 billion for US infrastructure. Do you think this will cause political problems? We should discuss.
ROSS: $20 billion?!?! Well, that's wonderful. What a number. Great. Do it!
SAUDI: Umm, yes. It's very exciting...
ROSS: By the way, great country you got here, everyone's really polite and quiet. Also, I love dates and I'm sleepy.
This trip is going GREAT you guys.