What’s a completely unqualified Trump cabinet secretary like Ben Carson to do after being outed as having learned nothing on his job in more than two years? Why run to Fox News and Fox Business where the Trump lickspittles were happy to cover for him.
Carson, the brain surgeon that Donald Trump put in charge of the Housing and Urban Development department for no apparent reason other than that he’s black, he’s a Trump supporter and he's unsympathetic to HUD’s basic mission, made a public spectacle of himself yesterday during a House Financial Services Committee hearing. Carson confused the term “REO” (“real estate owned”) with an Oreo cookie and, after revealing he had no idea that “OMWI” stood for Office of Minority and Women Inclusion stated that “of course” HUD has such an office when it doesn’t. As you can see in the first video below, Carson also guessed to Rep. Nydia Velazquez that there are “hundreds of thousands” on the waiting list for public housing when there are, in fact, 4.4 million.
Carson appeared on Tucker Carlson’s White Power Hour last night where none of the embarrassing incident was mentioned. Nor was the embarrassing recent finding by the Government Accountability Office that Carson had broken the law by spending more than $31,000 on a dining set and nearly $9,000, both for his office.
Instead, Carlson announced that Carson “faced a hostile reception on Capitol Hill. Why? Because he dared to suggest that illegal aliens should be ineligible for public housing.”
Nevertheless, Carson should have thanked Velazquez for cluing him in to the length of the waiting list. Last night, he declared self-importantly, “What people sometimes don’t understand is that we have millions of legal Americans in line waiting for these very scarce resources.”
Today, as the ridicule continued, Carson visited Fox Business’ Varney & Co. for some Republican Rehab about his knowledge. Note: Fox & Friends had already defended him for “just getting used to” his job - which he’s had since March 2, 2017.
“He was goaded,” host Stuart Varney said in his sympathetic introduction to the interview. Varney first reminded us that Carson was probably “the best brain surgeon in the world.” As if that was justification for such ignorance about basic HUD functions after nearly 27 months at the helm. Not to mention the $40,000 redecorating costs.
Carson, who would have certainly been afforded the opportunity to present a defense with Carlson last night (if he had one), now played the media victim. He complained that in the lengthy hearing, the media only played the damaging clips. That’s no excuse, of course, but it seemed to work for Varney!
Next, Carson rolled out his “strategy” of blaming Rep. Katie Porter, who had asked about REOs. But first, Carson claimed he had misheard the question.“I was having difficulty hearing her,” Carson now claimed. That does not explain why, when Porter asked what the REO initials stood for, he said, “E-Ownership,” as you can see below. You probably will not be shocked to learn that Varney never mentioned it.
“Of course, I’m very familiar with foreclosed properties and REOs,” Carson now laughably claimed, without challenge. “Have read extensively about them. Knew about them even as a teenager.”
After regurgitating what had almost certainly been an overnight crash course in HUD procedures, Carson accused Porter of ignorance. “I suspect when Katie Porter was an expert in this area, things were very different,” Carson intoned. “That’s why I invited her to speak with our staff that deals with these so they can bring her up to date. Maybe she would then be able to understand what’s going on.”
Varney didn’t want to go there but he kept hammering on the horror of Democrats “talk[ing] down to such a man of accomplishment” as Carson. “I’m glad you were on the show to refute that rudeness,” Varney said.
Yeah, never mind that Carson’s accomplishments have absolutely nothing to do with the federal department he was put in charge of. And never mind that Trump hasn’t gone a day without smearing anyone he disagrees with, no matter how accomplished.
Watch Carson’s shocking ignorance, from the May 21, 2019 Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, and Carson’s shameful attempt to pretend otherwise, from the May 22, 2019 Varney & Co., below.