On Tuesday, Ben Carson suggested that his wife, Candy Carson, is to blame for the $31,000 dining set purchased for his department.
According to The Hill, Carson claims that it is generally the role of secretaries of a department to redecorate their offices. Carson, however, isn't very into decorating, and therefore wanted a little bit of help.
"You know, I'm not really big into decorating," he said. "If it were up to me, my office would probably look like a hospital waiting room. At any rate, I invited my wife in to come help me."
Months after asking his wife to help him to decorate his office, Carson was under the impression that all of the redecorating was finished. This is when he was asked to replace the dining room table for safety reasons. Carson claims that a chair had collapsed while somebody was sitting on it. On top of that, nails were sticking out of the table, posing a safety risk to anybody who sat at it or walked by it.
As a result, Carson decided to ask his wife for further help. He and his wife then looked at some catalogs that were brought to them by staff.
"They showed us some catalogs," said Carson. "The prices were beyond what I wanted to pay and I made it clear that just didn't seem right to me. I left it with my wife, I said 'help choose something."
"The next thing that I, quite frankly, heard about it was that this $31,000 table had been bought."
But as soon as he heard that the dining room set had cost so much money, he immediately called to cancel it.
As soon as the mainstream media caught word, they quickly began reporting on the story and there was nothing Carson could do to stop the headlines, despite attempting to cancel the furniture.
Critics were especially mad that the dining set was being purchased with tax-payer dollars. They were also angry that HUD officials didn't request congressional approval for the purchase, since, under federal law, lawmakers are supposed to approve redecorating and refurbishing cost that exceeds $5,000.
Carson then announced to the public that days earlier he had canceled the dining room order.
Interestingly, reports claim that Carson was insistent that it was his wife, not him, that decided to choose the dining room set. In fact, Carson has been so persistent in making this claim that Business Insider ran a story with the headline, "Ben Carson Throws Wife Under The Bus For Purchase of $31,000 Dining Set."
Regardless of this controversy, Ben Carson maintains that no dishonesty or wrongdoing has been committed.
"Thank you to so many who have expressed concern for me and my family over the latest accusations," Carson wrote in a tweet earlier this month, according to Business Insider. "All the numbers and evidence are being gathered and a full disclosure is forthcoming."
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