Dr. Ben Carson, the sometimes hilariously inept darling of the American right, might be the perfect candidate for the world of post-fact politics. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, though, he made clear just how dangerous that world is: the former brain surgeon declared that it doesn’t matter whether the rapidly rising number of women accusing Trump of sexual assault are telling the truth or not.
“It doesn’t matter if they’re lying or not,” said Carson, Trump’s erstwhile rival for the Republican presidential nomination and now an ardent (if still inept) supporter, of the GOP nominee’s accusers. “What matters is that the train is going off the cliff. We’re taking our eye off of that and we’re getting involved in other issues that can be taken care of later.”
Frequent Morning Joe panelist Katty Kay shot back that “of course it matters if they’re lying.” But Carson talked over her and asked, “Where’s the plug?”—requesting, for the second time, to silence her so he could speak.
When Kay had initially raised the issue of Trump’s accusers, Carson pivoted, charging her with attempting to paint him as a “bad guy.” To make matters worse, Carson requested Kay be taken out of the equation entirely when she demanded he answer the question. “Hey, can you turn her microphone off, please?” Carson said. Host Joe Scarborough responded with a forceful “No.”
Call it a meltdown, sexism or pure rudeness. It’s all of the above, but what Carson’s appearance punctuates is a clear acceptance of rape culture by the Trump campaign that attempts to silence women for speaking up about sexual assault and demands that women who dare to even ask about it shut up.