Housing and Urban Development Secretary (HUD) Ben Carson and his staffers were kicked out of a church in Baltimore on Wednesday after he attempted to hold a press conference to defend President Donald Trump’s remarks about the city and promote the president’s administration.
What We Know:
- Carson’s staff arrived at a vacant lot owned by the Morning Star Baptist Church of Christ in Baltimore on Wednesday, where they planned to hold a press conference after Trump’s controversial tweets about Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings and his hometown district of Baltimore.
- While Carson and his employees were preparing, church member Gregory Evans reportedly asked the group to leave the premises because they had not obtained permission to use the site.
- “It’s nothing personal,” Evans said, according to The Baltimore Sun. “I didn’t know it was Secretary Carson. I just know there were a bunch of people over there that were taking over our site. And we said, ‘Why are they here?’ They’ve not even asked for permission to be here.”
- The staff had to move the conference to a nearby alley. Carson cited the incident as an example of people declining to work together to fix Baltimore’s issues. “Right here is this church that said: ‘Get off our property.’ You know, a church? When we’re talking about helping the people. I mean, this is the level to which we have sunken as a society,” he told reporters during the press conference.
- Carson, the only black member of Trump’s cabinet, spent most of his speaking time on Wednesday attempting to diffuse the backlash against the president after he called Cummings’ district in Baltimore a “disgusting rat and rodent infested mess” and a “very dangerous and filthy place.”
During the conference, Carson echoed Trump’s comments about federal money being “wasted” in Baltimore. The White House has not offered proof of misappropriation of federal funds, and city officials disputed the claim.
HUD has to move its Carson press conference. Gregory Evans, a member of Morning Star Baptist Church of Christ, says the church owns the property and did not give permission to hold the press conference. pic.twitter.com/uTKAKR7CMw
— Pamela Wood (@pwoodreporter) July 31, 2019