Ben Carson

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

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  • 1992 In his autobiography Gifted Hands, claims the following: (source)(source)(source)
    • Tried to hit his mother over the head with a hammer over a clothing dispute
    • Attempted to stab a friend who had changed the radio station. The blade broke in the friend’s belt buckle
    • “I would go after people with rocks, and bricks, and baseball bats, and hammers.” (source) No friends interviewed could recall any incidents of violence described by Carson. (source)
    • Wrote that he freed himself of temper issues after reading the Book of Proverbs.
    • Claims that West Point offered him a scholarship. West Point did not have any record of offering a scholarship because they do not offer scholarships. (source)
    • Claimed that he had dinner with General William Westmoreland on Memorial Day in Detroit in 1969. Pentagon records show that General Westmoreland was not in Detroit anytime before, during or after that day. (source)
    • Claimed that during his undergrad at Yale that he alone weathered a test in a psychology course, Perceptions 301, and got a photo taken with the professor published in the school paper. No such class existed and his picture was never published in the Yale Daily News. (source)(source)
  • Claims in another book that he received a scholarship offer from University of Michigan when he did not apply to the university in the first place. (source)
  • 1987 Participates in a conjoined twins separation surgery that results in the two siblings disastrously crippled, one in vegetative state. (source)
  • 1998 In a commencement speech at Andrews University, states that the Pyramids of Giza were not tombs, but grain silos built by Joseph, son of Jacob, in preparation for the famine in Genesis. (source) But the Pyramids of Giza were not hollow, contained mummies and funerary instructions, and Joseph’s grain was described in the Bible as being stored in cities. (source)(source)(source)(source)
  • 2002-2014 Carries on an extensive relationship with Mannatech, a multi-level marketing company that produces dietary supplements. (source)(source)
    • 2004 In a speech, credits Mannatech supplements for the disappearance of his cancer symptoms when he actual had surgery to remove cancerous tissue on August 7, 2002. (source)(source)
    • 2009 Does not discontinue relationship with Mannatech after it settles a $7 million lawsuit for claiming its supplements could cure autism and cancer. (source)(source)
    • 2011 Says at a keynote address at a Mannatech distributor convention that the company funded his endowed chair at Johns Hopkins Medicine. (source)
  • 2003 Appears in the Farrelly Brothers’ comedy about conjoined twins Stuck on You as “head surgeon.” (source)
  • 2011 States in a speech to Seventh-Day Adventists that Darwin’s theory of evolution “was encouraged by [Satan] and it has become what is scientifically, politically correct.” (source)
  • 2011 On the Big Bang: “Here you have all these highfalutin scientists and they’re saying it was this gigantic explosion and everything came into perfect order ... I mean, you want to talk about fairy tales, that is amazing." (source)
  • 2013 On the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: “Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery ... And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control." (source)
  • 3/29/13 On same-sex marriage: “Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA [National Man-Boy Love Association], be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn't matter what they are. They don't get to change the definition.” (source)
  • 2014 On carbon dating: "It really doesn't mean anything to a God who has the ability to create anything at any point in time." (source)
  • 3/4/15 States that homosexuality is “absolutely” a choice. "A lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight — and when they come out, they're gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question." (source)
  • November 2014 Rejects the scientific consensus on climate change: “There’s always going to be either cooling or warming going on.” (source)
  • 7/30/15 Asserted that the AP U.S. History overemphasizes wrongdoing, such as slavery, Japanese internment, and atrocities against American Indians, by the United States, saying: "I think most people, when they finish that course, they'd be ready to go sign up for ISIS." (video)
  • 10/22/15 Says he would intensify the War on Drugs. (source)
  • 10/25/15 Proposes abolishing Medicare and Medicaid and having the government give each person $2000 per year for health care instead. (source)
  • 10/28/15 States in a GOP debate: “I didn’t have any involvement with Mannatech. Total propaganda.” (source)
  • 11/10/15 In the fourth GOP debate: “Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases.” (source)(wrong)(wrong)(wrong)(wrong)
  • 11/10/15 In the fourth GOP debate states that he is generally a critic of regulations and that “every single regulation costs money” and hurts consumers. (source)
  • 4/25/16 Opposes the idea of Harriet Tubman replacing slave-owner and slave-trader Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. (source)
  • 11/15/16 Business manager and close friend to Carson states: “Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.” (source)
  • 2/17/17 Says that he's "baffled" and "speechless" that one of his top aides at HUD was suddenly fired by the Trump staff for an op-ed critical of Trump that the aide wrote in October of 2016. (source)(the op-ed)

As Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

  • 3/6/17 In his first address to staff at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, says America is "a land of dreams and opportunities" even for "immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships" and "worked even longer, even harder for less." And continues with: "They tried to enslave all kinds of people but they were not able to survive it and that requires a tremendous amount of toughness and will power and strength and hope and they had that. Don't let someone turn that into something bad." (Hill)
  • 3/6/17 In discussing the brain, says: “It remembers everything you’ve ever seen. Everything you’ve ever heard. I could take the oldest person here, make a little hole right here on the side of the head, and put some depth electrodes into their hippocampus and stimulate. And they would be able to recite back to you, verbatim, a book they read 60 years ago. It’s all there. It doesn’t go away. You just have to learn how to recall it.” (WaPo) This is all medically incorrect. (Wired)(Gizmodo)
  • 5/25/17 Says in an interview: "I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind." (CNN)
  • 6/28/17 When visiting the Baltimore HUD office, suggests that the staff needed to work harder, and keeps looking to his wife for cues on when to speak during his address. (NYMag)
  • 2/20/18 Is reported that HUD's inspector general is investigating Carson' involvement of family members at the head of the agency. (CNN)
  • 2/27/18 Federal procurement records reveal that HUD spent $31,000 on a new dining room set for Carson's office in late 2017, at the same time that the White House was circulating its plan to slash HUD's programs for the homeless, elderly and poor. (NYT)
    • 3/1/18 Attempts to cancel the order for the customized hardwood table, chairs, sideboard and hutch. (NYT)
  • 3/7/18 Makes preparations to revise the HUD mission statement as to not include anti-discrimination language. (WaPo)
  • 3/20/18 Testifies to a House subcommittee that his wife Candy chose the $31,000 furniture and not him, and that she is "the most frugal person in the world." (CNN)
  • 5/31/18 Names Alfonso Costa Jr., the son of Carson's close friend, as his desputy chief of staff. (Hill)
  • 7/14/18 Is reported that Carson announced a new plan that would lead to large increases in rents paid by the most low-income Americans, causing rents to triple. Defends his plan by saying it would give tenants “more skin in the game” and “incentivize public housing recipients to reach their God-given potential” by forcing them to work for their rent subsidies. (Politico)
  • 10/16/18 Announces the transfer of HUD's acting inspector general Suzanne Israel Tufts, to the Interior Department to serve as acting inspector general overseeing four ongoing investigations into Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's conduct. Tufts has been a HUD assistant secretary for 10 months and previously worked as a lawyer in Queens, New York who focused on providing services for tax-exempt companies. The current acting Inspector General of the Interior was not informed, and learned of Carson's email announcement through a colleague. (WaPo)
    • 10/17/18 In the midst of a flurry of criticism from government watchdogs and questions from Congress, Tufts resigns from HUD without taking her new position at the Interior Department. (CBSNews)
  • 11/14/18 Is reported that more families than ever live in HUD housing that fails health and safety inspections. (NBCNews)
  • 1/31/19 A photo emerges from June 2014 showing Carson, who was a keynote speaker for the notorious anti-LGBTQ organization National Organization for Marriage, standing with Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev and Alexey Komov. Komov was the Kremlin's point-man for efforts to cultivate ties between Moscow and American fundamentalist Christians in the lead-up to the 2016 election. (ThinkProgress)
  • 4/3/19 The bipartisan House Appropriations Committee tells Carson that Congress will reject Trump's plan to make deep cuts in housing and development programs, and chairman Susan Collins says she is "deeply troubled" by the housing shortages already reaching "crisis levels." (NPR)
  • 5/21/19 After being asked by a reporter about R.E.O.s (real-estate owned properties in foreclosure), responds with "An Oreo?" (BusinessInsider)