Ben Carson Defends Purchase Of $31,000 Dining Room Set, Blames His Wife
Ben Carson, who has been under fire for purchasing a $31,000 of dining room set for his office, told Congress the decision was his wife and staff’s and that he “dismissed” himself from the matter at the time.
Carson, the current Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, told a House committee on Tuesday that he’s “not big into decorating.”
“If it was up to me, my office would probably look like a hospital waiting room,” Carson said. “But at any rate, you know, I invited my wife to come in and help me.”
He said the total cost of renovation was $3,500. Carson told the House committee that he was later informed the dining room set needed to be changed because it was 50 years old.
Carson said he and his wife were shown catalogs, and the prices were beyond what he wanted to pay.
“I made it clear that that just didn’t seem right to me,” Carson said. “I left it with my wife to help choose something, but I said the money that’s going to be used, we need to take care of the Deputy Secretary’s office, and whatever’s left over [can] take care of the dining room furniture.”
He said he had other matters to tend to and wasn’t concerned about the furniture, but that he later was surprised by the price of the dining room set.
“I said, ‘What the heck is that all about?’ investigated it and had it cancelled — not that we don’t need the furniture, but I thought that that was excessive,” Carson said.
However, emails released under a Freedom of Information Act request by American Oversight showed the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s administrative officer Aida Rodriguez confirming that a colleague in the department “has printouts of the furniture the secretary and Mrs. Carson picked out.”
Carson is rumored to be on the outs with Trump because of the scandal, and should they come true, he would join a number of ousted Trump Administration officials.