US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Louis Ross Jr. has rebuked The New York Times for claiming during the shutdown that he was ‘out of touch with how ordinary Americans live’.
In a statement released this evening, the billionaire also denied for the first time that his financial backers privately refer to him as ‘Monty Burns’.
A spokesman confirmed Mr Ross does own a pair of embroidered slippers but that ‘in fact, each slipper is worth $600’.
He added that the slippers were a gift from ‘his highness the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’.
The department has revealed that Mr Ross is normally carried between meetings in a sedan chair that has been in his family for generations.
The chair is ‘carried by immigrant children,’ the press conference was told, ‘who would otherwise be ineligible to live in America’.