Ben Carson may be a brilliant surgeon, but he is not known for his wits elsewhere.
The one-time doctor was inexplicably named as Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development – a role he has absolutely no experience in – and his confirmation hearing is not going well. For starters, Carson abandoned his prepared remarks and went on an extemporaneous speech about his childhood. Why? Well, as it turns out, his prepared remarks were blatantly plagiarized from a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trump’s team, already chock full of plagiarism allegations, probably wanted to avoid a repeat.
But then, under grilling by a fierce Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Carson bumbled into what is being described as one of the greatest gaffes in political history.
And the question was simple: Can you assure the American people that not a single tax dollar that you give out will not financially benefit the president-elect, who has properties all over the world?
Carson said he couldn’t do that. Instead he promised that:
“It will not be my intention to do anything that will benefit any—any—American.”
“It will not be my intention to do anything that will benefit any American.”
Currently watching Ben Carson like… pic.twitter.com/K30VPnyxgT
— Fusion (@Fusion) January 12, 2017
“It will not be my intention to do anything that will benefit any American” — Ben Carson, with an all-time great gaffe.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) January 12, 2017
— Jay Morris (@jaymorrisdesign) January 12, 2017
But even if we take that gaffe at face value, it’s not exactly true. By side-stepping the question, Carson implied that Trump could, in fact, financially from his role at HUD.
The takeaway here for anyone already worried about Trump’s cronyism is this: When asked whether he could swear Trump wouldn’t “personally” benefit from decisions made in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Carson refused to do so. He even hedged his bets further by suggesting Trump might make a little money, but it could still be a good deal.
Carson swerving when Warren asks if HUD won’t enrich Trump: “If someone you’re targeting is gonna gain $10 from it, am I gonna say no?"
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) January 12, 2017
Nice. At least he’s open about the future administration’s plans for corruption.
Watch Elizabeth Warren dismantle Ben Carson below:
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images