The latest controversies stem from whether his recollection of being admitted to West Point was true, if he indeed attempted to stab someone, whether he did actually protect white students from violence during the riots following Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder, and if he was voted the “most honest student” at Yale University.
In an interview with NBC News’ Chris Jansing on Meet The Press Sunday, Carson blamed the “secular progressive movement” for many of the stories reporting on claims made in Gifted Hands. However, the most prominent articles calling his stories into question have come from Politico and the Wall Street Journal, both of which are owned by conservatives: Robert Allbritton and Rupert Murdoch.
Carson said the news stories are coming out now because he is considered a threat to “the progressive, the secular progressive movement in this country.”
“I’m a very big threat because you know they can look at the polling data, they can tell that I’m the candidate who’s most likely to beat Hillary Clinton,” Carson told Jansing.Last week, Politico reported that Carson never applied or was admitted to West Point. Carson never explicitly said he applied to West Point but said he was offered a “full scholarship.” Carson said he met with Gen William Westmoreland, who offered a scholarship to then 17-year-old Carson. West Point said they do not offer full scholarships, according to the report.
There were also questions of whether or not Carson’s story that he attempted to stab someone is actually true, as it has changed substantially over the years, and students do not recall Carson’s recollection of protecting white students from violence in the aftermath of the Martin Luther King Jr. murder.
In his interview with Jansing, Carson was asked about his account that he was accepted into West Point. Carson said he had nothing to apologize for, that the media should focus on “big major scandals,” and that he wanted to talk about policy issues and threats facing the U.S., such as cyber attacks and the electrical grid.
After Jansing asked if Carson attempted to stab his own brother, Carson did not confirm or deny whether his brother was the man in the story.
“We spoke to Steve Choice, I don’t know if you remember him, you went to grade school with him,” Jansing said. “He said that the only time he remembers you having a temper is, and I’m going to quote him here: ‘They came flying out of the house, Benny was slim — a skinny ass. Curtis worked out. Pumped up. Can’t see why he was running from Ben, unless he knew something we didn’t.’ Was your brother afraid of you?”
“Uh, I don’t think he was afraid of me. But he certainly knew about my temper,” Carson said.When asked if his brother was the person he attempted to stab, Carson answered, “I’m not giving any information about who the person was that I tried to knife… I won’t say it was, I won’t say it wasn’t.”
When Jansing asked if he was trying to protect his brother by leaving his name out of the story, Carson said, “I would not want anybody actually to be put under the microscope because of my doing.”
The media scrutiny Carson received last week was not confined to his 1990 book, however. Other major news stories included Carson claiming that the pyramids were built to store grain in a 1998 Andrews University commencement address and his remarks over undocumented immigrants’ children born in the U.S. Carson said it was “not intended” for children of undocumented immigrants to have birthright citizenship.
[Cross-Posted from thinkprogress]