US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday he had done nothing wrong and did properly disclose his investments in a shipping firm that has significant business ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
Ross was responding in media interviews to reports on Sunday about his investments stemming from the so-called Paradise Papers, a trove of leaked documents about an offshore investment that relate to the affairs of wealthy individuals and institutions ranging from Ross to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and trading firm Glencore.
The documents were obtained by Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and some media outlets. Reuters has not independently verified the documents.
“There is nothing wrong with anything that was done,” Ross told CNBC, adding that he had not considered resigning following Sunday’s report. Ross is a billionaire investor who is helping to shape Republican President Donald Trump’s trade policy.
“There was disclosure, there is no impropriety and if people draw a contrary conclusion that’s because the papers have twisted the story and made it into something that it’s not there,” Ross told the BBC.
U.S. media said partnerships used by Ross have a 31 percent stake in Navigator Holdings, which the New York Times said earns millions of dollars a year transporting gas for Russian petrochemical firm Sibur.