U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Monday defended President Donald Trump’s xenophobic attacks on Baltimore, where he spent years as a pediatric neurosurgeon, saying that he dreaded sending his patients back to “infested” homes.
During an interview on Fox News, Carson, the president’s only black cabinet member, said he “spent many hours, sometimes operating all night long,” to save the lives of the city’s children at Johns Hopkins Hospital, which sits in the majority-black district represented by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), another of Trump’s targets.
“But a few days later I was in a horrible dilemma, because some of those kids had to go back into homes in East Baltimore that were infested with rats and roaches and ticks and mold and lead and violence, and I didn’t want to send them back,” he told right-wing commentator Tucker Carlson. “Sometimes I would even consider extra tests so they could stay in the hospital an extra day or two.”
On Saturday, Trump launched a barrage of insults via Twitter at Cummings, whom he called a “brutal bully,” and his district, which he derided as a “rodent infested mess.”
Carson added that he had asked Trump whether he would be open to working with Cummings to provide relief to Baltimore, and said the president replied that “he would be happy to.”
However, less than two hours after Carlson’s primetime slot ended, Trump was already back to another Twitter tirade, slamming Cummings’ tough stance against the treatment of migrants at the southern border.
Trump has also suggested that the congressman, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, should have his district’s use of federal funding investigated, alleging without evidence that it is “corrupt.”
Watch Carson’s interview below via Fox news.
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