While under intense questioning from Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday, Ben Carson accidentally insisted that he wouldn’t “do anything to benefit any American.”
During Carson’s confirmation hearing for the position of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Warren pointed out that because President-elect Donald Trump runs a vast real estate business, he can easily benefit from HUD contracts. On Tuesday, Trump revealed at a press conference that he will be handing over control of the business to his sons instead of putting it in a blind trust as previous presidents have done.
“My concern is that among the billions of dollars that you will be responsible for handing out in grants in loans,” Warren said to Carson. “Can you just assure us that not one dollar will go to benefit either the president-elect or his family?”
“It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American,” Carson said boldly. “It’s for all Americans.”
Carson obviously didn’t mean that he wouldn’t try to help Americans, but his gaffe caught the attention of several viewers. He also refused to promise that federal dollars would not be channeled into Trump’s businesses.
“You can take it to mean that I will manage things in a way that benefits the American people,” Carson insisted. “If there happens to be an extraordinarily good program that’s working for millions of people and it turns out that someone that you’re targeting is going to gain $10 from it, am I going to say, ‘No, the rest of you Americans can’t have it’? I think logic and common sense probably would be the best way.”
Warren replied: “The problem is that you can’t assure us that HUD money — not of $10 varieties, but of multi-million dollar varieties — will not end up in the president-elect’s pockets.”
“And the reason you can’t assure us of that is because the president elect is hiding his family’s business interests from you, from me, from the rest of America,” Warren said. “And this just highlights the absurdity and the danger of the president-elect’s refusal to put his assets in a true blind trust.”