It appears that the Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson under Donald Trump, lied about a $31,000 custom mahogany dining room set chosen for his office that was paid for by the public. Carson maintained that “nobody was more surprised than me,” about the cost of the furniture, but an email that was released in response to a freedom of information request by American Oversight, a pro-transparency group this week confirms that Carson and his wife personally picked the furniture and were aware of the cost. Reported the Guardian:
Ben Carson and his wife personally selected a $31,000 furniture set for his office at the department of housing and urban development, according to a newly released email that contradicts past statements by Carson and his aides.
Carson and his spokesman Raffi Williams repeatedly claimed that the Hud secretary was not involved in a decision to make the purchase, after the Guardian revealed a controversy at the department around the furnishing of his office.
“Nobody was more surprised than me,” Carson said in a statement, before saying that he would cancel the order amid the controversy. Williams, who initially denied that the furniture order existed, also insisted that Carson had no involvement.
But in an email on 29 August last year that was released on Wednesday, an official at Hud wrote that Carson and his wife, Candy, had “picked out” the furniture themselves.
That Carson and his wife have expensive tastes should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the multi-millionaire former neurosurgeon. He owns a suburban mega mansion on 48 acres of land in Maryland that appears to exist almost entirely as an homage to himself:
Carson is in charge of ensuring disadvantaged Americans get access to affordable housing — a job he has no qualifications for in the first place other than a willingness to work for Donald Trump. Now it has transpired that he has been ripping off taxpayers to keep up he and his wife’s luxurious lifestyle while working in Washington DC. As the New York Times reported, the two apparently spent a considerable amount of time and effort redecorating his office suite:
Mr. Carson’s wife, Candy Carson, played a central role in coordinating the redecoration of his office suite — down to scheduling an appointment with an interior decorator, reviewing photo boards of furniture choices last summer and pressuring staff members to find more money for furnishings, according to the emails.
This also comes at a time when the Trump administration has sought to radically slash the HUD’s budget, so Carsons’s ridiculous spending binge on luxury items could not be more hypocritical.
Carson has done much good in his life as a highly respected neurosurgeon, but as a public servant he is not only working for the most repellant, corrupt president in history, but lying to the public about stealing tax payers money for his own benefit. Carson is wealthy beyond most peoples’ wildest dreams and claimed to want to go into government to help people on their journey to success. Instead, he has helped gut an agency that helps the poorest Americans, taken precious tax dollars away from them for the sole purpose of maintaining a lifestyle he can already afford, then nakedly lied about it.
Ben Carson must resign over this, and quickly before he causes further embarrassment to himself and the government agency he is allegedly running.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.