On Thursday, accomplished neurosurgeon-slash-human soporific Dr. Ben Carson turned up to Capitol Hill. There, he was grilled by the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee over his nomination to be President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Despite having no experience in government or public service, Carson began his nomination hearing by acquitting himself fairly well when pressed by committee chair Michael Crapo (R–ID) and Sherrod Brown (D–OH), the top Democrat on the panel. However, his poise quickly evaporated when Elizabeth Warren (D–MA) took over the questioning. He even wound up making a truly mortifying gaffe.
Check out the entire exchange, below, and spare an ounce of pity (but just an ounce) for Ben Carson, who just got grilled to death by a Capitol Hill pro.
Warren pressed Carson over whether he could promise that none of HUD’s billions of taxpayer-funded dollars would ever make their way into the property-owning pockets of Donald Trump and his family.
“I can assure you that the things I can do are driven by a sense of morals and values,” Carson dodged, adding, “and therefore I will absolutely not play favorites for anyone.”
Warren, however, wasn’t having any of it.
“Dr. Carson, let me stop right there,” Warren retorted. “I’m actually trying to as a more pointed question. It’s not about your good faith. That’s not my concern.”
Carson tried again—and really messed up.
“It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American,” he insisted, before apparently realizing how dumb that actually sounds.
“It’s for all Americans,” Carson quickly added. “Everything we do.”
Warren, smelling blood in the water, quickly pounced.
“Do I take that to mean,” she asked, “that you may manage programs that may significantly benefit the president-elect?” Carson, again, was unable to deny the allegation.
“The president-elect is hiding his family’s business interests from you, from me, and from the rest of America,” Warren continued.
“The President-elect knows what will benefit him and his family financially. But the public doesn’t. Which means he can divert taxpayer money into his own pockets without anyone knowing about it,” she explained, appearing to read from a prepared statement.
“The only way that the American people can know that the president is working in their best interest and not in his own is if he divests and puts his assets into a true blind trust.”