Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is coming to President Donald Trump’s defense over his racial tirade.
What We Know:
- On Wednesday, Carson appeared on Fox News and suggested that the public misunderstood what Trump was saying when he made racially centered remarks against four congresswomen of color. The host Sandra Smith asked Carson to explain what the President meant when he essentially attacked Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Talib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley on Twitter and encouraged them to “go back” to their countries.
- Smith asked if Carson thought Trump’s comments were racist and he completely shot down that notion. “I have an advantage of knowing the president very well, and he’s not a racist,” Carson said.
- “The president suggested that they could go back to their countries,” Smith continued after noting that three of the congresswomen were actually born in the U.S. and all four are American citizens. “What did the president mean because he’s not taking back anything he said.”
- Failing to give a direct answer, Carson inclined Smith to focus on Trump’s economic record. “I think you can see what the president means by looking at his accomplishments,” he said. “Look at his policies. Under this president you see the rising tide lifting all boats. You see low unemployment — record low — for blacks, for Hispanics, for all the demographics of our nation.”
- In the days following Trump’s Twitter attack, he has doubled down on his comments and insists that he is not racist.
The House of Representatives voted to formally condemn the tweets as “racist” on Tuesday. The 240-to-187 vote was split between Democrats who disagreed with him and Republicans who either sided with him or declined to comment.