Ben Carson: ‘Bunch of Garbage’ to Suggest Trump Lacks Compassion

HUD secretary rips media reaction to Harvey, demands Senate 'put partisanship aside' to confirm appointees

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson said pundits and reporters who voiced doubt over President Donald Trump’s “compassion” for the victims of Hurricane Harvey are spouting “a bunch of garbage,” during an interview Wednesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

Trump visited Texas twice last week. In his first visit, he offered his support to the local and federal officials dealing with the havoc that Harvey left in its wake and did not visit with the victims. But on his second trip, Trump met with victims and their families, played with and hugged children and helped pass out boxed lunches, among other personalized activities.

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But because Trump didn’t meet with the victims on his first visit, many in the media blasted the president as heartless and claimed that he lacked the human ability to empathize with hurting Texans.

“I’ve been with [Trump] a lot the last couple of weeks in situations where there were no cameras and nothing for him to gain, and I saw tremendous compassion for other people,” Carson said. “So that’s a bunch of garbage.”

Carson ripped the pundits for their constant Trump criticism.

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“And those guys who make such claims, I think they’re grasping for straws at this point,” he said. “Why don’t they actually sit down and talk about what they believe and what the basis of it is? The reason that they don’t do that is because they don’t have any good basis for it.”

Noting that “we’re making good progress in Houston,” Carson said “things are going well in Texas, primarily because there has been a lot of communication between the different agencies,” including HUD, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Homeland Security, and more.

“The president is providing excellent leadership,” he said. “And with [Hurricane] Irma coming along — even with all the things that are going on with Harvey, we’ve already got staff deployed to the places where there’s likely to be damage.”

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But now that the U.S. is dealing with a series of vicious hurricanes and the yearslong process of rebuilding, Carson said it is time for the Senate to stop slow-walking the confirmation of Trump’s nominees for government agency positions. In particular, Carson urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to apply pressure to his Democratic counterpart to force confirmation votes.

“They’re just waiting for a vote,” Carson said of the nominees. “And [McConnell] is an expert. He’s been there for a long period of time in terms of how to twist people’s arms. I think it’s time to twist them because it’s hurting the people of the United States, as far as I’m concerned, particularly having just gone through a major hurricane and with another one coming upon us.”

“At some point, you’ve got to put partisanship aside,” he said. “And [McConnell] needs to make that point loud and clear to the other side.”

(photo credit, homepage image: John Pemble, FLickr; photo credit, article image: Gage Skidmore, FLickr)

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