After the ‘Paradise Papers’ disclosures, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross defended himself, saying he did nothing wrong and properly disclosed investments in a shipping firm with ties to Russian President Putin's inner circle. Tom Rowe reports.
SOUNDBITE: U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, WILBUR ROSS, SAYING: "There is no impropriety…" President Donald Trump's commerce secretary, billionaire Wilbur Ross - is pushing back on Monday against claims he failed to disclose business ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle. SOUNDBITE: U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, WILBUR ROSS, SAYING: "The papers have twisted the story." Ross forced to defend himself after the release of the so-called Paradise Papers -- a trove of documents leaked to a German newspaper detailing offshore investments by wealthy individuals. The documents describing Ross's stake in the shipping firm, Navigator Holdings, which the New York Times said earns millions of dollars a year transporting gas for Russian Petrochemical firm Sibur. The Times said Sibur stakeholders include Gennady Timchenkno - a Russian oligarch currently under U.S. sanctions… as well as Putin's son-in-law Kirill Shamalov. Ross told the BBC, there was nothing improper about the investment. SOUNDBITE: U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, WILBUR ROSS, SAYING: "The company that is our client, Sibur itself was not then sanctioned, is not now sanctioned and never was sanctioned in between. So There is nothing whatsoever improper…" The revelations about Ross's holdings comes as the investigation into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia moves ahead. Trump's indicted former campaign Chief Paul Manafort appeared in court on Monday with his business partner Rick Gates - a judge ruling that neither man can travel abroad.