Back on January 20, we reported on Ben Carson‘s son’s and wife’s alleged involvement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In response to the story, we received an email from Raffi Williams, the communications director at HUD, which read in part, “The head reads ‘Ben Carson’s Unqualified Son And Wife Work At HUD And People Are Pissed.’ Neither person works for HUD. The article does not provide any evidence that supports the claim made in the headline. I request an immediate correction. Happy to discuss further if need be. Please confirm.”
Raffi even ranted on Twitter, something HUD employees love to do. Here is just one of many tweets.
We made a correction, even though HUD is currently being sued by FFRF and CREW for denying fee waivers for Freedom of Information Act requests—one about the Carsons working at HUD. In an additional story last week, we asked Raffi, tagging him on Twitter, “Are you explicitly saying that Ben Carson’s wife and son do not work at HUD in any capacity? In addition, are Candy Carson and Ben Carson Jr. receiving no money, in the form of compensation, from HUD? If so, please give us a clear answer. Also, it would of great service if HUD replied to FFRF’s request about Carson allegedly using taxpayer money for White House Bible study sessions and private planes.” Raffi never responded.
Now, just hours ago, The Washington Post dropped a bombshell report about Ben Carson possibly violating ethics rules by having his family involved with HUD. Isn’t that ironic?
Linda Cruciani, HUD’s deputy general counsel for operations, and other department officials, were reportedly uneasy with Carson’s son, wife and daughter-in-law (we never mentioned his daughter-in-law) participation in last summer’s “listening tour” event in Baltimore. Ben Carson Jr. is a local businessman who reportedly invited potential business associates to the event. In a July 6 memo, Cruciani wrote, “I expressed my concern that this gave the appearance that the Secretary may be using his position for his son’s private gain.” Carson denied this conflict of interest.
How did The Washington Post obtain the memo? Through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the same way CREW and FFRF were trying to obtain information on the Carsons. The memo also revealed, “Carson has relied on close family members since joining the Cabinet. His wife, Candy Carson, son Carson Jr. and daughter-in-law Merlynn Carson have attended some of his official meetings, according to current and former HUD officials.”
The Washington Post reports there have been questions about his family since January and gave several examples. Allegedly, Ben Carson Jr. showed up on email chains and even requested a primer on federal ethics laws under the header, “Misuse of Position: Regulations applying to SOHUD” (secretary of Housing and Urban Development). If you aren’t violating ethic laws, why would you need this primer?
This sounds like more than just “supporting” daddy dearest. That said, in Trump land, it’s deny, deny, deny—until you are caught red-handed.
SOURCE: The Washington Post