Ben Carson Unearths Exciting New Evidence of His Own Incompetence

Ben Carson Unearths Exciting New Evidence of His Own Incompetence

Emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from liberal watchdog group American Oversight reveal more details about HUD Secretary Ben Carson's involvement in the purchase of a $31,000 dining room set.

The 163-page release, obtained by the left-leaning group American Oversight, includes a series of email exchanges over the course of previous year in which top HUD staffers vet different furniture options and solicit input from Carson's wife Candy, as well as the secretary.

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. "I was as surprised as anyone to find out that a $31,000 dining set had been ordered", Carson said in the statement.

Austin Evers, American Oversight's executive director, said in a statement that the effort to upgrade Carson's immediate surroundings is at odds with some of his public policy positions, including a quip he made during an interview with the New York Times in May that public housing officials should avoid creating "a comfortable setting that would make somebody want to say: 'I'll just stay here".

A HUD spokesperson explained this inconsistency to CNN by asserting that the Carsons had participated in the "selection of specific styles" only after they were "presented with options by professional staff". "We will find another solution for the furniture replacement".

"I don't think it even crossed her mind, this separate room", he said of the decorating plans.

"Secretary Carson, to our knowledge, is the only HUD Secretary to go to the subbasement of his agency to select the furniture for his office", Williams said.

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It's not clear whether anyone attempted to fix Carson's office furniture.

Several months after considering repairs to the dining set in early August, HUD's scheduling office reached out to Candy Carson, the secretary's wife. "Are you available on any of those dates and would you like to come in and have input on the redecorating?"

"I briefly looked at catalogs for dining furniture and was shocked by the cost of the furniture. The table was ordered by the career staffers in charge of the building", he added.

In a Facebook post last week, the Carsons denied allegations that they were responsible for the purchase of the $31,000 dining set.

In one email chain, the interior designer offered HUD officials links to two different bar carts and a bar cabinet that did not end up being part of the final purchase.

The furniture was originally quoted at $24,666, according to an email from Rodriguez to Mills.

The emails contain vivid descriptions of the "wobbling" chairs and table.

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