Ben Carson Ain’t Slick. Don’t Let His Backpedaling Fool You

Illustration for article titled Ben Carson Ain’t Slick. Don’t Let His Backpedaling Fool You
Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

So remember how it came out that Ben Carson’s wife, Candy, had bullied staff at the Department of Housing and Urban Development into purchasing a $31,000 dining set? And remember how, when he was asked about it, Carson said he didn’t see the problem and he wasn’t going to return it? Well, it turns out that the House Oversight Committee announcing an investigation into said purchase can make a nigga change his mind real quick.

The New York Times reports that in light of the committee’s investigation, Carson has decided that he wants to cancel the order for the dining set after all.

Armstrong Williams, Carson’s business manager and informal adviser, said Thursday, “At the request of the secretary, the agency is working to rescind the order for the dining set.”


Williams added that rescinding the order “might not be possible,” however.

Remember, HUD spokesman Raffi Williams told us Tuesday that Carson had no problem with the order and had no intention of returning it. On Thursday, he confirmed that Carson had changed his mind.

It’s no coincidence that the about-face comes after Carson was widely criticized for the purchase, especially in light of the $6.8 billion in cuts his agency is facing.

In a statement about the purchase, Carson said, “Nobody was more surprised than me.”


Sir, please.


Several department officials told the Times on condition of anonymity that it would have been highly unusual for Carson to not be notified about the significant purchase and office-furniture upgrade.

Williams also claims that Candy Carson had no knowledge of the order, either, but this runs contrary to a whistleblower complaint from a former high-level staffer who said that Candy Carson pressured her to go around the $5,000 legal limit for purchases in order to redecorate her husband’s office.


The dining set was ordered Dec. 21 from a Baltimore company, and according to the Times, it will be hard to cancel the order. The federal government is also unlikely to recoup all its money even if the set is not delivered.

Williams explained: “He’s not returning the table; he is attempting to cancel the order. HUD is a bureaucracy, so everything is complicated. The person they contracted has already spent $14,000 making the table. While his intentions are to cancel it, we have to see what happens.”


On Wednesday, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee sent a three-page letter asking for an explanation of the dining-set purchase because it likely violates a federal law that requires congressional approval for any office-renovation expense exceeding $5,000.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) also requested a response to the whistleblower complaint from Helen G. Foster, former HUD chief of administration, who said that she was demoted and transferred after she refused to comply with Candy Carson’s request to circumvent the $5,000 spending cap.


TL;DR: Ben Carson is full of shit. His wife is full of shit. They out here making black people look bad with their bullshit, and now they are trying to clean up the mess.


Stand firm, Ben Carson. It was all good just two days ago, so why you changing your mind now?


This entire administration is criminal.

Flush all this shit away.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.

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sTalkinggoat attacks! with Trollhammer for 14 DMG

Life comes at you fast Ben. Anybody have pics of this $31,000 dining set because I really want to know what the Carson’s aesthetic is. It wouldn’t surprise me if the cushions were covered in plastic.

Between PLASTICCOVEREDDININGSETgate and Hope Hicks trying to cover her ass by firing the job after admitting to lying in a Congressional Committee this has turned into and unexpectedly enjoyable thursday.