Ben Carson says he had little or no involvement in purchasing a $31K furniture set for his Department of Housing and Urban Development dining room.
But according to unearthed emails, the Housing Secretary and his wife hand-“picked” the expensive furniture themselves!
According to an exhaustive report by CNN, an August email from a career administration staffer, with the subject line “Secretary’s dining room set needed,” to Carson’s assistant refers to “printouts of the furniture the Secretary and Mrs. Carson picked out.” For shame!
The internal emails were published following a Freedom of Information Act request by liberal watchdog group American Oversight.
A HUD spokesman previously denied the Carsons had any involvement in the dining set selection, telling CNN that, like everything else going on in the administration, the Carsons had “no awareness” that the set was being purchased.
The spokesman initially blamed the expensive order on “the career staffers in charge of the building.” Carson personally addressed the issue days later, telling the outlet he was “surprised” by the hefty price tag and was having the order canceled.
“I briefly looked at catalogs for dining furniture and was shocked by the cost of the furniture. My wife also looked at catalogs and wanted to be sure that the color of the chair fabric of any set that was chosen matched the rest of the decour (sic).”
The HUD spokesman later admitted that Candy Carson “participated in the selection of specific styles” of the new set, which has apparently been discussed since last May when two Carson aides asked for repairs to the “unsafe” existing chairs.
Acknowledging there was a deadline to make a decision on the furniture purchase, Carson said he and his wife “were told there was a $25K budget that had to be used by a certain time or it would be lost.”
While the initial quote for the furniture came in at $24,666, the final bill came to nearly $7,000 more, due to delivery and installation charges, along with a price increase for the upholstered chairs.
But it’s not the Carsons’ fault! Not only did the HUD spokesperson say the Carsons had “zero awareness of this purchase being made,” he denied that Candy had any interest in redecorating the suite at all.
This chaos and confusion can only mean one thing: Melania Trump is compulsively redecorating the entire administration using government funds and secret email accounts, because, at this point, it’s the only way she can feel alive.
[Image via C-SPAN.]